Team Canada cyclists win bronze in women’s team pursuit

RIO DE JANEIRO – Canada has won a bronze medal in the women’s track cycling team pursuit event at the Rio Olympics.

Montreal’s Kirsti Lay, Calgary’s Allison Beveridge, Georgia Simmerling of West Vancouver, B.C., and Jasmin Glaesser of Vancouver defeated New Zealand to take third place.

Earlier in the day, Britain defeated Canada in world-record time (4:12.152) to advance to the final against the United States.

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Lay – who won silver at the worlds in March with Simmerling, Glaesser and Beveridge – was inserted back into the group in place of Vancouver’s Laura Brown, who had competed with the team earlier this week.

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Simmerling is the first Canadian athlete to compete in three different sports at three separate Olympics. She raced for Canada in alpine skiing at the Vancouver Games six years ago before taking up ski cross ahead of Sochi in 2014. She believes those experiences have prepared her for a stage that is both different and the same.

“I’m used to the media, the crowd,” said Simmerling on Thursday. “That has really helped me come into this sport and excel. I draw off the crowd as I do from my other sports. That mental experience with high-pressure situations has been huge.”

Simmerling and her teammates came to Brazil with high hopes after Canada grabbed bronze in London four years ago and a podium spot at the last four world championships. While athletes have been moved in and out of the lineup like chess pieces since then – Glaesser is the only remaining competitor from 2012 to suit up in Rio – the results have stayed fairly consistent.

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