European Championships 2018: Laura Kenny helps GB qualify fastest in team pursuit

European Championships 2018: Laura Kenny helps GB qualify fastest in team pursuit
European Championships: GB ease to top of qualifying in women’s team pursuit
2018 European Championships
Venues: Glasgow, Edinburgh and Berlin Dates: 2-12 August
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra plus the BBC Sport website with further coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

Laura Kenny’s bid for three golds at the European Championships got off to a good start as Great Britain were fastest in team pursuit qualifying.

The four-time Olympic champion, fellow Englishwoman Ellie Dickinson, Wales’ Elinor Barker and Scot Katie Archibald will face the French quartet at 15:46 BST on Friday for a place in the final.

Kenny, 26, returned to racing this year after having her first child.

Rowing and gymnastics also featured on day one of the new multi-sport event.

In total there are seven sports which have merged their European Championships into one 11-day competition for the first time.

In the cycling, Britain set a time of four minutes 19.330 seconds in the 4,000m pursuit time trial, more than two seconds faster than defending champions Italy, with Germany third and France fourth.

Friday’s afternoon session will see the hosts face France while Italy take on Germany for a place in Friday evening’s final.

Home favourite Archibald, like Kenny, is a 10-time European champion and is targeting four gold medals.

The Scot, 24, will also compete in the individual pursuit, omnium and madison, although she suggested the individual pursuit could be dropped because it is not an Olympic event.

Kenny will rival Archibald in the madison and will also compete in the elimination race.

Laura Kenny (left) and Katie Archibald are hoping win multiple medals at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome

The English rider, who had her first child with cyclist husband Jason Kenny, said she was not in the sort of form that earned her two Olympic gold medals in 2016.

“The level I came from was Rio so that’s obviously what I’m going to compare to,” she said. “I’m not back there, but it took me two years to get that far anyway. I’m a year in now, so maybe in a year’s time I’ll have it back.”

The British men’s team pursuit quartet of Ethan Hayter, Oliver Wood, two-time Olympic gold medallist Steven Burke and Kian Emadi can also challenge for a place in the final after scraping through as fourth fastest in qualifying.

They struggled from the start and finished almost two seconds slower than the fastest team, Italy, who they will face on Friday.

GB rowers shine at Strathclyde Country Park

Great Britain men’s eight will go in Friday’s repechage

Olympic champion Mohamed Sbihi has another chance to help his men’s eight crew reach Sunday’s final after they finished second in their opening heat.

The British boat, fancied to take a medal, finished second behind the Netherlands in a time of five minutes 38.63 seconds and will now race in Friday’s repechage.

However, two other British boats reached finals as the men’s four won their heat and the men’s quadruple scull came second in theirs.

The lightweight double scull pair of Zak-Lee Green and Jamie Copus battled from sixth spot to finish third and will also race again on Friday, as will the women’s pair of Ellie Piggott and Fran Rawlins and the women’s quadruple scull, which came third in their heat.

Meanwhile, double scull pair Harry Leask and Jack Beaumont, and lightweight single scull rower Sam Mottram, won their respective heats to move into the semi-finals.

Ireland’s Rio Olympic silver medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan, whose colourful nature endeared them to the public two years ago, won their lightweight men’s double scull heat to reach Sunday’s final.

Kennys goes for gold & Peaty begins bid – day two

Cyclists Laura and Jason Kenny have won 10 Olympic titles between them

Gold medals: 11 in cycling, swimming and synchronised swimming.

17:00 – Swimming: Women’s 400m individual medley

Home favourite Hannah Miley is out for revenge against team-mate Aimee Willmott, who pipped her to Commonwealth gold in this event in April.

Miley’s first senior title came in this event at the European Championships in 2010, and the Scot also won gold at Glasgow 2014.

18:45 – Track cycling: Women’s team pursuit final & 20:13 – Men’s team sprint final

The women’s team pursuit sees four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny looking for her first major gold medal since the birth of her first child, Albie, last summer.

Her husband Jason Kenny will be doing the same in the men’s team sprint. The six-time Olympic gold medallist secretly retired after the 2016 Olympics – but reversed his decision before making it public.

Network coverage: 09:00-13:45, BBC Two; 13:45-17:15, BBC One; 17:15-21:00, BBC Two.

Further coverage: 09:00-19:30, BBC Red Button & 09:00-21:00, Uninterrupted coverage, Connected TV and online.

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