Olympic Cycling: Great Britain break women's team pursuit world record
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 12/08/16 12:27am
Great Britain's women's pursuit team broke the world record on the way to qualifying fastest on the opening day of track cycling at the Olympic Games.
Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald stopped the clock in an outstanding 4min 13.260sec to regain the record they lost to Australia in February 2015 and announce themselves as favourites for gold in Rio.
The United States, who are the reigning world champions, qualified second fastest but were a distant 1.026 seconds slower, while the Australians qualified third fastest but were almost six seconds down on the rampant British quartet.
Britain will now line up against Canada in the last of the four first-round heats on Saturday afternoon, while Australia will face the United States in the third heat. The medal finals will follow on Saturday night.
Britain's men's pursuit team were even more dominant than the women on the way to setting the fastest time in qualifying.
Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Owain Doull missed out on the world record by less than 0.3 seconds but were 3.453 seconds quicker than their closest challengers, Denmark, and 3.663 seconds faster than world champions Australia.
They will now face New Zealand in the last of four first-round heats on Friday night and will be favourites to go on to win gold in the final later in the evening.