Marc Ryan wins Olympic bronze
'Like Beijing it was both an amazing feeling and a relief'STU PIDDINGTON
Timaru's Marc Ryan is again an Olympic bronze medallist after finishing ahead of Russia in a ride-off for third in the men's team pursuit.
The London medal matches the one the 29-year-old won in the same event in Beijing four years ago.
Ryan and his team of Jesse Sergent, Aaron Gate and Sam Bewley did not have it all their own way in the big night at the packed Olympic Park velodrome.
In the end they beat the Russians by just over 2 seconds in a time of 3min 55.952sec.
Australia had earlier beaten New Zealand in the semifinal but they were no match for the British in the final, who again smashed the world record in 3:51.659.
Ryan said he was rapt to get another medal.
"Again like Beijing it was both an amazing feeling and a relief," he said.
"Four years ago I knew we would medal again, it would just would be down to which colour .
"A gold or silver would have been nice but we as a team we are still stoked to get a bronze.
"A lot of hard work has been done to achieve that, not only from the riders but also all of the support staff and BikeNZ and the backing we have from Sport NZ."
Ryan said their celebrations were muted.
"As a team we had a couple of quiet beers and that was about it," he said.
"We are still trying to get over the two hard days of riding then late nights and early starts for the media."
Ryan has been back at the velodrome supporting team-mate Shane Archbold but he was also thinking of home.
"It's amazing the amount of messages I get from home and the support I get.
"I'm over the moon I could win another medal for New Zealand and also South Canterbury," he said.
"I'm sure it would have been a pretty big night at Mum and Dad's."
He was right on the mark, as there were both cheers and tears in Ryan's Timaru family home as the Kiwis crossed the line.
Shouts of "go Dream" and "go Kiwis" broke out from the 30 friends and family who had gathered to watch the race.
The tension was palpable as the Russians took an early lead but the lounge erupted at the end of the four-kilometre journey as the Kiwis held on, with the champagne corks popping.
Ryan's father, Colin, said it was a magnificent result.
"All that time and effort, it's just fantastic."
Mum Diane was also delighted for Marc.
"I was so nervous for him but it is brilliant."
Fiancee Eve Anderson just looked relieved as she texted her congratulations to Marc.
The team looked proud and relieved on the podium as they received their medals from the Crown Prince of Denmark.
- The Timaru Herald