IPSWICH cycling club member Michael Hepburn has won an Olympic silver medal as part of Australia's men's team pursuit track cycling team in London.
Together with team mates Jack Bobridge, Glenn O'Shea and Rohan Dennis, the 20-year-old fell just short of the all-conquering British team who broke their second world record in as many days on their way to gold.
After two years of preparation, where the Australians won world championship and world cup titles, the British quartet never looked threatened in the final, showing their focus had always been on Olympic gold.
The Brits got off to a fast start before the Australians began to reel them in the second of four kilometres.
But as the race wore on the reigning world champions, from Melbourne in April this year, pulled away from the tiring Australians to bring the home crowd to its feet.
Great Britain's winning time of 3.51.659 was nearly three seconds quicker than the Australians and highlighted the strength of the home nation's performance at the Olympic velodrome.
Len Hepburn, father of Michael, told the QT the team remained upbeat after the final despite the disappointment of falling one place short of their ultimate goal.
"They were all a little disappointed they couldn't match it with the Brits," Hepburn said.
"But Michael was pretty pleased with his silver medal."
As has been the case with many sports during the London Games, British athletes have found extra incentive in front of a home crowd and the results have been golden.
The track cycling campaign has been no exception and Hepburn said credit must be given to the entire British cycling fraternity.
"The British boys rode exceptionally well, setting a couple of world records along the way so they deserved their win," he said.
"In fact the entire British team, not just in cycling but right across most sports being contested, have really lifted their performances in their home Games."
Hepburn adds the Olympic silver medal to the World Championship gold and silver medals he won during April's World Championship.
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