Duanesburg cyclist Emma White wins Olympic bronze medal

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Duanesburg cyclist Emma White won an Olympic bronze medal when the United States defeated Canada in the bronze medal final of Team Pursuit on Tuesday afternoon at the Izu Velodrome in Izu, Japan.

The American team of White, Chloe Dygert, Megan Jastrab and Jennifer Valente posted a time of 4 minutes, 8.040 seconds in the 4,000-meter race, topping Canada’s 4:10.552.

White, 23, is a Union College graduate making her Olympic debut. She was a road cyclist before making the transition to track three years ago with the hopes of being an Olympian.

“It’s just been a wild ride with this amazing team,” White said in the postrace news conference in Izu. “It took a lot of believing. I didn’t always think I was capable of it. I really have my team to thank for that and the coaches and I’m just so thankful to be here and I never thought it was possible.”

Earlier in the day, the United States lost to Great Britain in a hotly contested first-round heat. The British earned a spot in the gold medal final and turned the tables on the Americans, who beat them for the world championship in Berlin last year. Great Britain also defeated the USA in the 2016 Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro.

“We definitely came here looking for a little bit more than a bronze, coming in as defending world champion,” White said. “But the rides today were just absolutely phenomenal and we’re really, really proud to pull off what we did today and we’re really proud of what everybody else was able to do today. It just shows how competitive this discipline is getting. This past year has been full of a lot of struggles and we’re really, really proud to come away with bronze.”

Great Britain posted a world-record time of 4:06.748, better than the USA’s 4:07.579.

However, Great Britain’s record didn’t last long. Germany beat the British for the gold medal with a time of 4:04.249, knocking off the two-time defending Olympic champions, who had to settle for the silver.

 

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