Britain to race Australia for team pursuit gold

Britain reclaimed the world record for the women’s 3 km team pursuit Thursday on their way to setting up a gold medal duel with rivals Australia at the world track cycling championships.

Minutes after seeing their world mark of 3min 18.148sec bettered by Australia in 3:17.053, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Danielle King powered over 12 laps of the Hisense Arena track to clock a stunning 3:16.850.

Britain, who have won three of the four titles since the women’s team pursuit became a world championship event in 2008, will now race Australia, the 2010 world champions, for the gold medal later Thursday.

Canada, who was third fastest in 3:19.494, will race New Zealand (3:20.598) for the bronze medal. The fancied United States finished well out of medal contention in fifth place after posting 3:21.765.

There have now been five world records in only two days of competition at the world championships.

On the opening day Wednesday the British men’s pursuit team bettered their own world record of 3:53.314, set at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, on their way to beating Australia to the gold in 3:53.295.

The German team sprint duo of Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte twice beat the British-held world record of 32.754sec for the two-lap power event in 32.630, then 32.549 on Wednesday.

Earlier Thursday Australia’s Anna Meares clocked a new world best of 10.782 for the flying 200m lap.