Cycling: Britain set world record in women's team pursuit

Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:39pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Britain's women's team pursuit squad christened the Rio de Janeiro Olympic velodrome with a world record on the first day of the track cycling program on Thursday.

Shortly before the British men won gold in the team sprint in an Olympic record, the quartet of Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell-Shand, clocked four minutes, 13.260 in the qualifying round of the 4,000m event.

It surpassed the mark of Australia (4:13.683) set at last year's world championships and threw down the gauntlet to world champions the United States who were second quickest.

Australia were third-fastest qualifiers.

The U.S. team led by Sarah Hammer, and boasting a unique bike with the chain on the left-hand side rather than the usual right, had threatened to go even quicker before slowing.

Hammer, desperate to win her country's first gold in women's Olympic track cycling, was not too concerned.

"It's a race over three days. We're super-excited and we've got the out for everybody," she said.

"That's what was expected. It's going to be even faster. World record, the Olympic Games, right?"   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Cycling Track - Preliminary -  Women's Team Pursuit Qualifying - Rio Olympic Velodrome - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Laura Trott (GBR) of Great Britain and Kate Archibald (GBR) of Great Britain celebrate setting a world record.  REUTERS/Paul Hanna