Great Britain claim first women’s team pursuit gold in nine years at World Championships

GB Team Pursuit 2023 Worlds

Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit squad became world champions on Saturday night in Glasgow. They beat New Zealand in the final race, clocking a time of 4-08.771 and winning by over four and a half seconds. This victory marked the first time since 2014 that the team has claimed this title.

The winning team was made up of Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Josie Knight, and Anna Morris. After the race, the GB staff honoured them with a guard of honour. For Archibald, this win was especially meaningful as she dedicated her victory to her late partner Rab Wardell in her home velodrome.

Barker, who was also part of the team that won gold at the World Championships last time, praised Archibald, saying, “She’s unbelievable. It’s really hard to summarise the year she’s had, how she feels about it, and how we feel about it. But just the fact she’s here is just insane. I don’t really know how she does it, to be honest.”

The performance of the team at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome was strong and dominant. They recorded the best time in both qualifying and the first round. Despite falling slightly behind the Kiwis at the beginning, Archibald took control midway and powered the team into the lead.

The responsibility for the final push for victory was on Knight, who crossed the finish line with the New Zealand team in sight. Knight remarked, “With a lap to go, I looked up and I could just see them. I thought, ‘Even if I blow up completely here, as long as I can still see them, we’ve got this.’” This win was a first-time world title for Knight, Morris, and Meg Barker, who participated in the first round.

Reflecting on her previous experiences and the journey to the gold, Knight said, “I’ve ridden a lot of world finals and come second, the biggest one being Tokyo [Olympics]. I’ve been wanting to win something big for a while, and this is my third team pursuit in the World Championships. It’s gone bronze, silver last year, and honestly, I was just so devastated on the podium last year, and I really didn’t want that to happen again.”

In other race results, France won the bronze medal, defeating the defending champions Italy.