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September 16, 2000
Ballanger pedals to gold in record time
World champion Felicia Ballanger of France won the first gold medal of track cycling at the Sydney 2000 Olympics on Saturday when she won the 500 metres time trial with an Olympic best time.
Australia's Michelle Ferris won the silver while China's Jiang Cuihua took the bronze.
Ballanger, the reigning world record holder, set a time of 34.140 which was better than Ferris's by 0.556 of a second. Last year's World Championship silver medallist Cuihua posted a time of 34.768 seconds
Ballenger's strength was her strong start. Her 250m time split was also the fastest of the evening at 19.161. Ferris recorded the fourth fastest halfway split, but proved her strength in her finish, posting a personal best time of 34.696.
This was the debut of the 500m Time Trial at an Olympic Games. The first rider to start, Daniela Larreal (VEN) was the first to set an Olympic record (35.728). The record was broken three times before Ballanger's winning ride.
In the men's 1km Time Trial final Queally Jason of Great Britain took the gold in 1:01.609 seconds. He was followed by Nimke Stefan of Germany in 1:02.487 seconds and Kelly Shane of Australia in 1:02.818 seconds.
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