Rio 2016: Great Britain Wins Gold in Team Sprint

Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner of Great Britain pose with their gold medals after winning cycling gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Thursday. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

Great Britain claimed its first cycling gold of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Thursday with a victory over New Zealand in the team sprint.

It was Britain's third consecutive Olympic gold in the event, but the first since the retirement of the great Sir Chris Hoy.

Thursday's victory gave Jason Kenny, the veteran sprinter, the fourth Olympic gold of his career as he, Philip Hindes and Callum Skinner, who rode the final leg, set an Olympic record of 42.440 seconds.

Britain's success comes despite a difficult year for the team, which lost its head coach, Shane Sutton, amid a sexism controversy in the spring.

In the team pursuit, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Owain Doull and Steven Burke narrowly missed breaking their own world record in qualifying first for the next round.

Wiggins appeared the weakest of the quartet, dropping off with two laps to go. But Britain should be encouraged by the poor showing of world champion Australia, which only qualified third-fastest for Friday's finals.