Britain wins women`s team pursuit in record time

Melbourne: Britain`s defending champion women`s team pursuit squad beat Australia in a dramatic finish Thursday to win gold in record-breaking time on the second day of the world track cycling championships.

Britain`s Danielle King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell trailed Josephine Tomic, Melissa Hoskins and Annette Edmondson by more than a second after the first half of the 3,000-meter race, but surged back in the final leg to win in 3 minutes, 15.720 seconds. Australia finished in 3:16.943.

It was the second event to boast a new record at Melbourne`s Hisense Arena on Thursday and the third time the women`s team pursuit record was broken at the meet after Australia, then Britain, set world marks in qualifying.

"We didn`t know what we could do. We knew we had a good ride, but we just wanted to do the best we could and the time was just phenomenal," King said

Canada won bronze in 3:19.529, ahead of New Zealand in 3:19.847.

On the men`s side, Stefan Nimke of Germany defended his 1-kilometer time trail title in 1:000.082, but failed to make a dent in the event`s 11-year record time of 58.875 held by French rider Arnaud Tournant.

Michael D`Almeida of France was second in 1:000.509, with New Zealand;s Simon Van Velthooven third with 1:000.543.

In qualifying earlier Thursday, the Australians initially broke the women`s team pursuit record with a time of 3:17.053, beating the previous mark of 3:18.148 set by Britain at February`s track world cup in London.

King, Trott and Rowsell then clocked 3:16.850 to regain the record.

"My goal here was to get on the podium and improve on London (in February) and we`ve done that, so we`ve got one step to go and we`ve got a few months hopefully to get there," Tomic said of her Olympic ambitions.

Rowsell said she expected the women`s team pursuit to produce more records at this year`s London Olympics.

Defending champion Anna Meares of Australia earlier set the a world record in the flying 200 meters during qualifying for the women`s sprint.

Meares` time of 10.782 eclipsed the old mark of 10.793 set by Lithuania`s Simona Krupeckaite at Moscow in 2010.

Meares and British rival Victoria Pendleton later advanced to Friday`s sprint semifinals, along with Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine and Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania.

World records have now been set in four events at the meet after Britain broke the men`s team pursuit mark and Germany twice set records for the women`s team sprint on the opening day.

Bureau Report