It might not have gotten a prime-time TV spot at the 2021 Olympic Games, but early on Tuesday morning, all Capital Region eyes were on the women’s track cycling team pursuit matchup between Team USA and Canada for the bronze medal. That’s because cycling for the US was Duanesburg native and Union College graduate Emma White, who helped her team of four, the reigning world champions in the event, clinch the bronze.
“We came here to get more than the bronze, being the defending world champions,” White told USA Cycling. “The rides today were absolutely phenomenal. We’re really proud of what we did today. The blistering rides from Germany and [Great Britain] today show how competitive this event is getting. Although this past year has been full of struggles, we’re proud of how we competed.”
For the uninitiated, track cycling is pretty much what it sounds like—a bicycle racing sport in which riders race around a specially built banked track. The team pursuit event features two teams of four riders each, which start on opposite sides of the same track. The race is 4 kilometers long, and the goal is to cover the distance in the fastest time. If one team catches up to the other, it automatically wins. In the bronze medal race, the teams were neck and neck, with the US up just 0.6 seconds at the halfway mark. White and her teammates pulled ahead in the second half, though, finishing with the better time of 4:08.04.
A bronze medal is nothing to sneeze at, but if you were praying for the Capital Region to take home gold in Tokyo, there’s still a glimmer of hope. Tomorrow, August 4, Averill Park native and US-record holder Rudy Winkler will compete in the men’s hammer throw final, having had the second-longest throw in the qualifying round. Coverage begins on NBC at 7:15am EDT.