Breaking a world record once is special. To do it three times is extraordinary. To do it three times at one Olympic Games, unheard of, until now.
The German women’s track cycling foursome dominated as they dethroned Great Britain in the final of the team pursuit to win gold at the Tokyo Games – and once again in world record time.
The imperious quartet of Franziska Brauße (Eningen), Lisa Brennauer (Durach), Lisa Klein (Erfurt) and Mieke Kröger (Bielefeld) bettered the world record in the qualifiers and again in the heat and final – improving the mark by almost 6 seconds overall across two days.
In the final they took a clear lead and stormed to victory 4:04.249 minutes ahead of the British women, who had won the two previous golds in the women’s discipline introduced to the track programme at London 2012.
For the German team it is the first Olympic medal in an endurance discipline on the track since Judith Arndt finished third in the 3000-meter individual pursuit in Atlanta in 1996.
Franziska Brausse (l.) and Mieke Kroeger (r.) of Team Germany celebrate their record-breaking win
A thrilling men’s 400-meter hurdles final was won by Norway’s Karsten Warholm, who smashed the world record in the process. Last month, Warholm broke Kevin Young’s 29-year world mark with a time of 46.70 seconds — but he blew his own record away with an astonishing 45.94 run. Rai Benjamin (Team USA) pushed him along to take silver in 46.17, also half a second inside the old record. Brazilian Alison dos Santos, 21, took bronze in 46.7
Elsewhere, New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington blew away the field in winning her third consecutive women’s kayak sprint 200 at the Sea Forest Waterway. Carrington is gunning for four golds in Tokyo.
Malaika Mihambo saved the best for last as her 7-meter marker at the sixth attempt was enough to win Germany’s first long jump gold since Heike Drechsler in 2000. Mihambo, a world champion in 2019 who had jumped 7.20 meters in the past, struggled with her run-up and takeoff during the pandemic. “The most important thing was just to keep at it and never lose faith,” said the 27-year-old.
Lukas Dauser snatched silver at the last in the men’s parallel bars final, with a score of 15.700 in the final routine of the competition placing him behind Jingyuan Zou of China and ahead of Turkish bronze medalist Ferhat Arican.
In the men’s canoe double 1,000 meter, Sebastian Brendel and Tim Hecker managed to claim bronze behind the Chinese team and shock Cuban winners.
Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke held their nerve to win a first German sailing medal since Sydney 2000 in the women’s skiff — 49er FX. Brazil took gold and the Netherlands bronze in that one.
US gymnast Simone Biles took another Olympic bronze medal on the beam after returning to competition following a break to safeguard her mental health. With her 32nd medal at the Olympic Games and World Championships, the Texan equaled the all-time record of Larissa Latynina.
mp (DPA, Reuters, AP)