Cycling at the Tokyo Paralympic Games - individual pursuit

Cycling at the Tokyo Paralympic Games - individual pursuit

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The individual pursuit pits para-cyclists against both the clock – and their opponents.

About

Two riders, or two tandem pairs, start on opposite sides of the velodrome and ride to set the fastest time over either 3km (12 laps) or 4km (16 laps).

Format

The event starts with qualification – a pure race against the clock. The riders or pairs with the two fastest times ride off for the gold medal, with the third and fourth fastest racing for bronze.

The winners of the heats involving the top four qualifiers go through to the gold medal final. The two places in the bronze medal final are determined by the fastest times of the six remaining qualifiers.

In the finals, the fastest time wins, but there’s a second way to take victory. If you can catch your opponent, the race is won.

Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott competes for Great Britain in the individual pursuit at the Rio Paralympics

Classification

The individual pursuit is an event for ‘C’ and ‘B’ athletes. ‘C’ riders are those with locomotion impairments who can ride a bicycle. Riders within the ‘C’ group will be placed into one of five categories, with C1 indicating the greatest degree of impairment and C5 the least. ‘B’ riders are athletes who have visual impairments and ride tandem bicycles with a pilot.

Both male and female ‘B’ riders race for 4km in the individual pursuit, as do C4 and C5 riders. All female solo riders, and male C1, C2 and C3 riders race for 3km. Although some individual pursuit races feature cyclists from different ‘C’ categories competing against each other, times posted in this event are not factored.

Venue

Organisers of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo scrapped plans to build a purpose-built, 5,000 seat velodrome for the Games in Tokyo Bay as part of cost-cutting measures. Track cycling will now be held at the Izu Velodrome, 120km to the south-west of Tokyo.

The Izu Velodrome has a 250m Siberian Spruce wooden track with 42 degree banking and opened in 2011 as the first indoor cycling track in the country. The venue currently has a 4,300 seat capacity.

When

Track cycling at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo is currently scheduled to take place from Thursday 27 August until Sunday 30 August.

With Tokyo eight hours ahead of British Summer Time, it is believed that racing will take place at around 2am-4am (all days, morning sessions) and 8.30am-11am (Thursday, Friday and Saturday, evening sessions) for UK audiences.

Megan Giglia competes for Great Britain in the individual pursuit at the Rio Paralympics

Facts

  • Although the individual pursuit has been part of the Paralympic program since the debut of track cycling in 1996, it was originally limited to just tandem pairs.
  • Now open to both male and female riders in ‘B’ and all ‘C’ categories, there are four reigning British Olympic champions. Dame Sarah Storey (C5), Lora Turnham (B), piloted by Corrine Hall, Steve Bate (B), piloted by Adam Duggleby and Megan Giglia (C1-3) had success at the Rio Games in 2016.
  • The other gold medal winning riders in Brazil were the American Shawn Morelli (C4), Chinese riders Li Zhangyu (C1) and Liang Guihua (C2), David Nicholas (C3) of Australia, Slovakia's Jozef Metelka (C4) and Ukraine's Yegor Demetyev (C5).
  • Louis Rolfe (C2) won bronze in Rio on his Paralympic debut while Crystal Lane (C5) took silver and the duo of Sophie Thornhill (B) and her pilot Helen Scott won bronze.
  • Storey took individual pursuit honours for the third Games in a row, having also won gold in both London and Beijing.
  • The other British winner at their home Games in London in 2012 was Mark Colbourne (C1).
  • Great Britain won four individual pursuit golds in Beijing in 2008 – Dame Sarah Storey (LC 1-2/CP 4) and the tandem pair of Aileen McGlynn and Ellen Hunter (B&VI 1-3) in the women’s races and Darren Kenny (CP3) and Simon Richardson (LC3) in the men’s competition.
  • That was Kenny’s second individual pursuit gold – having taken the CP3 title in Athens in 2004, as Paul Hunter and Ian Sharpe won B1-3 bronze.

Louis Rolfe competes for Great Britain in the individual pursuit at the Rio ParalympicsSophie Thornhill and Helen Scott competes for Great Britain in the individual pursuit at the Rio Paralympics

Records

World records

Men’s C1 3km individual pursuit – 3:50.373, Li Zhang Yu (China), 9 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Paralympic Games.
Men’s C2 3km individual pursuit – 3:40.367, Guihua Liang (China), 11 April 2014, Aguascalientes, Mexico, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
Men’s C3 3km individual pursuit – 3:26.629, Alexey Obydennov (Russia), 11 April 2014, Aguascalientes, Mexico, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
Men’s C4 4km individual pursuit – 4:26.924, Jozef Metelka (Slovakia), 9 March 2016, Montichiari, Italy, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
Men’s C5 4km individual pursuit – 4:24.057, Michael Gallagher (Australia), 11 April 2014, Aguascalientes, Mexico, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
Men’s B 4km individual pursuit – 4:08.146, Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby (Great Britain), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Paralympic Games.
Women’s C1 3km individual pursuit – 4:20.123, Jayme Paris (Australia), 30 August 2012, London, United Kingdom, Paralympic Games.
Women’s C2 3km individual pursuit – 4:07.454, Alyda Norbruis (Netherlands), 12 April 2014, Aguascalientes, Mexico, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
Women’s C3 3km individual pursuit – 4:03.544, Megan Giglia (Great Britain), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Paralympic Games.
Women’s C4 3km individual pursuit – 3:55.006, Shawn Morelli (USA), 19 March 2016, Montichiari, Italy, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
Women’s C5 3km individual pursuit – 3:31.394, Dame Sarah Storey (Great Britain), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Paralympic Games.
Women’s B 4km individual pursuit – 3:23.328, Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather (New Zealand), 10 April 2014, Aguascalientes, Mexico, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.

Lora Turnham and Corinne Hall compete for Great Britain in the individual pursuit at the Rio ParalympicsSophie Thornhill and Helen Scott competes for Great Britain in the individual pursuit at the Rio Paralympics

Paralympic records

Men’s C1 3km individual pursuit – 3:50.373, Li Zhang Yu (China), 9 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Men’s C2 3km individual pursuit – 3:42.916, Guihua Liang (China), 9 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Men’s C3 3km individual pursuit – 3:32.336, David Nicholas (Australia), 9 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Men’s C4 4km individual pursuit – 4:29.112, Jozef Metelka (Slovakia), 10 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Men’s C5 4km individual pursuit – 4:30.012, Michael Gallagher (Australia), 1 September 2012, London, United Kingdom.
Men’s B 4km individual pursuit – 4:08.146, Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby (Great Britain), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Women’s C1 3km individual pursuit – 4:20.123, Jayme Paris (Australia), 30 August 2012, London, United Kingdom.
Women’s C2 3km individual pursuit – 4:10.654, Alyda Norbruis (Netherlands), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Women’s C3 3km individual pursuit – 4:03.544, Megan Giglia (Great Britain), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Women’s C4 3km individual pursuit – 3:57.741, Shawn Morelli (USA), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Women’s C5 3km individual pursuit – 3:31.394, Dame Sarah Storey (Great Britain), 8 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Women’s B 4km individual pursuit – 3:27.460, Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall (Great Britain), 11 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.