Posted by Editoress on 10/18/11
Canada won its fourth medal - and first gold - at the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Tuesday in the Women's 3000m Team Pursuit, setting new Canadian and Pan Am records in both qualifying and the gold medal final. The team consisted of Laura Brown (already a bronze medalist in the time trial), Jasmine Glaesser and Stephanie Roorda. In qualifying, they made the gold medal race with a time of 3:25.093 and then in the final, against Cuba, knocked an astounding 3.645 seconds off of their qualifying time, to win the Pan Am Games title with a time of 3:21.448 .
We spoke at the velodrome with national coach Tanya Dubnicoff (who, incidently, saw her 1999 Pan Am Games Flying 200m record finally broken today) and team member Jasmine Glaesser - a new Canadian citizen racing in her first competition for Canada.
"It was a great day," commented Dubnicoff. "To have the ride they had this morning [in qualifying], and then beat it by three and a half seconds ... incredible. No, I didn't think [ 3:21] was possible; I thought they could do 3:24, but the building [velodrome] heated up so much and got so much faster. They rode the ride of their life. Things are looking really good for Canada in the next ten months."
Dubnicoff also said that, while this is the first official race for Glaesser with the team, she "has been with the team training off and on since November. We knew that it was just a matter of time until she could ride, she just had to get her papers."
Glaesser summed it up simply: "This is pretty awesome. I've worked for this for a year and a half ... but to ride a 3:21 is incredible. We analyzed our ride after the morning one, and we thought we could go faster, so it [3:21] was in the back of our minds."
"Once we were on the track, we all committed to it. We started really fast, and I thought 'Oh no, at this pace we could blow up'. But we didn't, we kept the pace and didn't slow down. We kept pushing to the end, we didn't know where Cuba was, so we had to keep fighting right to the end."
"It hasn't completely sunk in yet; this is the new Canadian record by four seconds. But this is just the start."
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