Russia were the big winners on the opening day of the 2020 European Track Championships in Bulgaria on Wednesday as Britain were knocked out in the women's team sprint final.
The country's two team sprint trios Anastasiia Voinova, Daria Shmeleva, and Natalia Antonova in the women's and the men's Denis Dmitriev, Pavel Yakushevskiy, and Ivan Gladyshev cruised through to win both events in Plovdiv.
In the women's team sprint, Russia saw off Czech Republic in the first round before beating a plucky Great Britain side - the trio of Milly Tanner, Lusia Steele and Lauren Bate - in the final. The Brits crossed the line in 48.531, behind Russia's time of 46.852.
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The men saw off Czech Republic in the final, clocking 43.007 seconds - 0.918 seconds over their opponents. The Russians, who were clearly the strongest trio, beat Belgium with ease in the first round.
Britain's Matthew Walls won the men's elimination race with Sergei Rostovtsev coming third to win Russia their third medal of the day. Portugal's Iuri Leitao claimed silver.
"I’m really happy – it was a bit of an unknown coming here as I hadn’t done a race in a long time." Walls said post-race.
"I came here in pretty good form, I was just seeing if my tactics and race speed were there, so I’m glad to come away with a win.
"I’ve got the omnium and Madison coming later in the week, so I’m looking in good form for that.”
The women's scratch race was won by Italian Martina Fidanza. Defending champions Great Britain face Italy in the women's final on Thursday.
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