Rio 2016: Cycling's Owain Doull is first Welsh Rio gold medallist

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Doull said the experience in Rio had been surreal

Owain Doull has won Wales' first gold of the 2016 Olympics as he helped the Great Britain men's team pursuit defend their cycling title in Rio.

Doull emulated fellow Welshman Geraint Thomas, who won at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, by helping Great Britain win team pursuit gold in world record time.

The 23-year-old joined record-breaking Sir Bradley Wiggins, Steven Burke and Ed Clancy to beat the world champions.

"That was just surreal, it feels dreamlike" said the Cardiff rider.

"We've been in situations like that before when we've been so close and have lost so to pull it off now is unbelievable."

He had previously won silver medals at the 2015 and 2016 World Championship - this year to the Australian team - but Doull earned Olympic redemption to add to the four Welsh silver medallists in Rio.

"I've dreamt of this moment for so long," added Doull.

"It's what gets you out of the bed in the morning. I've pictured crossing that line first and winning the Olympics and to finally be here and do it, it's just surreal. It's a culmination of four years of hard work."

Swimmer Jazz Carlin, rower Victoria Thornley and rugby sevens players Sam Cross and James Davies had already enjoyed podium finishes before Doull secured Wales' seventh gold in the last three Olympics.

Wales had not won an Olympic title in 36 years when Nicole Cooke stormed to women's road race gold in 2008 - the first Welsh cycling medal ever at an Olympics.

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But since Cooke's win in Beijing, Wales have won three more cycling gold medals - and could win a fifth on Saturday when Elinor Barker will help the British world record holding women bid for team pursuit gold.

Doull - who started cycling at the Maindy Fliers club in Cardiff like Thomas and Barker - had helped the Great Britain team to lower the world record in their heat demolition of New Zealand.

But Team GB were quickly behind in Friday's final as Australia led by 0.7 seconds at the halfway mark, before GB reeled them in and then pulled away in the final 500m to win the 4km race by 0.83 seconds - in a world record time of three minutes, 50.265 seconds.

Doull's team-mate Wiggins became the first Briton to win eight Olympic medals - five golds, one silver and two bronzes - as GB won a third successive team pursuit Olympic title.

"It gives you such confidence....you've got Brad on my right behind me and I've got Burke and Ed down below me," said Doull.

"It's Burke's second Olympic title in his discipline, it's Ed's third and he's the most decorated Yorkshireman, so he keeps telling me, so to have that calibre of team is just massive and it gives you such confidence."

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