Katie Archibald: Great Britain pursuit team can win Olympic gold in Rio

Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell-Shand receive their silver medals at the 2015 World Championships
Archibald (left) won World silver with Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell-Shand in 2015

Great Britain's women's team pursuit quartet can retain their Olympic title in Rio, believes Katie Archibald.

The Scot, 22, will join Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne and Joanna Rowsell-Shand in the British squad.

They had to settle for bronze at this year's World Championships, when Archibald was out injured, but she is confident they can improve on that.

"I have a lot of faith in the training we're doing. It feels pretty fast and I think we've got a good shot," she said.

"We came away from the World Championships with a bronze, and the previous one [last year] with a silver. It is obviously not a guaranteed thing and the winning streak we had was knocked out.

"But it is an exciting competition. There is probably going to be five teams who will be incredibly close - ourselves, the Americans [the current world champions], the Canadians [who won silver], the Australians, [world champions two years ago] and the Kiwis.

"You will see us all potentially within a 10th [of a second] of each other in qualifying, and we will be battling it out for the medals.

"That is what we are training for, falling asleep thinking about and waking up wanting to do. We will give it a crack."

Trott and Rowsell-Shand won gold with Dani King in London, when the women's team pursuit event had just three riders.

Archibald, from Milngavie, near Glasgow, was part of a World Championships-winning team in 2014, and has won six European Championship golds as well as bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Katie Archibald celebrates her bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games
Archibald celebrates her bronze medal in the points race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

But suffering a ruptured posterior cruciate knee ligament and fractured elbow in a motorbike crash last December, and missing the final World Cup round and the World Championships in March, has made her appreciate the opportunity ahead.

"I had a fairly serious knee injury and that rocked the boat a little bit, in terms of my mindset towards the Games," she told BBC Scotland.

"It made me realise how much it means to me. Having something almost taken away really made it hit home just how committed I am and how much desire is there.

"I have been to World Championships and the Commonwealth Games but as far as I can tell, it [going to the Olympics] is still a fairly daunting prospect. But I will try to cope with it as best I can.

"I was pretty lucky with the recovery I had. But we won't have another race now until the Olympics so that will be my first comeback. I just have to be in the right frame of mind to perform well in training and trials from here on.

"We are a team of five in an event where you can only put four riders on the start line. Hypothetically all five of us can ride because there are three rounds, but the coach will have to decide who is in peak condition."

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