Cycling: Britain claim another World Championships gold medal in world record time


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The Independent Online

Great Britain's Joanna Rowsell, Dani King and Laura Trott set a sensational second world record of the day to win three-kilometre team pursuit gold on day two of the Track Cycling World Championships at the Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

The trio clocked three minutes 15.720 seconds to ensure Britain have now won four of the five team pursuit titles since the event was incorporated into the World Championships programme.

Australia's Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins and Josephine Tomic were second in 3mins 16.943secs - also under the previous world record set this afternoon - as the battle for Olympic glory in London in August intensified.

Australia clocked 3:17.053 in qualifying - beating Britain's mark from February - before Rowsell, King and Trott went faster still in 3:16.850.

The unchanged British trio - with 2008, 2009 and 2011 world champion Wendy Houvenaghel a mere spectator - wound up after a start which saw them trail by almost 1.5 seconds with a phenomenal final kilometre to win by 1.233secs.

It meant King and Trott retained the title won in Apeldoorn in March 2011 and Rowsell claimed a first world champion's rainbow jersey since Pruszkow in 2009.

Canada's Tara Whitten, Jasmin Glaesser and Gillian Carleton won the race for bronze in 3:19.529, with New Zealand's Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielson and Alison Shanks fourth in 3:19.847.

Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton advanced to the semi-finals of the women's sprint.

After successfully negotiating the early rounds, Pendleton met Virginie Cueff of France in the best-of-three quarter-final.

The first bout saw Pendleton come round Cueff on the final bend and win by a bike length.

The Briton led from the front in the second to win by a convincing margin once more and go through to the last four tomorrow evening.

Rowsell won her first team pursuit world title in Manchester in 2008 when the event was not on the Olympic programme, triumphing alongside Houvenaghel and Rebecca Romero.

The 23-year-old won again in Poland 12 months later, with Houvenaghel and Lizzie Armitstead, before her latest victory.

Rowsell said: "I can't believe I'm world champion again - it's been three years.

"I so badly wanted that rainbow jersey back. I'm absolutely over the moon.

"I was so pleased with our qualifying ride. To see the world record broken before our ride is always quite tough. We saw that happen to the team sprint girls yesterday.

"We had to keep our heads, do our own ride. We went out rode to a schedule and actually beat it.

"It was great to go into the final fastest qualifiers and we knew we had more in the tank.

"I felt good in the final, Laura was awesome, Dani was absolutely awesome as well.

"The Australians went out fast, but we stuck to our plan to go out steady and hold pace.

"We knew we could go fast - in the qualifier we beat them in the last couple of laps."

The partisan spectators were in raptures early on, but soon silenced as Britain clawed back the deficit before overhauling their hosts in emphatic fashion.

King said: "At the London World Cup the Australians were saying they had a disadvantage with our amazing home crowd.

"I think we proved that even without a home crowd we can still do it. It was really good.

"They did a fast ride in the qualifier and we just came out to do a better ride, which we did."

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