Australia miss out on team pursuit medal, Denmark destroy world record

Berlin: Australia missed out on a medal as Denmark powered to gold in the men's team pursuit, breaking the world record for the third time in two days at the world track championships.

The Danish quartet of Rasmus Pedersen, Lasse Hansen, Julius Johansen and Frederik Madsen once again proved to be in a class of their own to destroy New Zealand in the final of the blue-riband event on Thursday.

Lasse Hansen (left) and Frederik Madsen were part of Denmark’s triumphant team pursuit quartet.Credit:DPA

They had broken Australia's world record in qualifying on Wednesday, then set a new mark in the first round.

The previous best before the Danes arrived in Berlin was the Australians' time of three minutes 48.012 seconds set in winning the 2019 world title.

The Danes went even quicker at the Berlin velodrome, lowering the record by another 1.5 seconds with a time of 3:44.672.

They will now be red-hot favourites for the Tokyo Olympics.

"We knew we were going to have to break the world record to win here, but to do 3:44, it's just madness to be honest," Madsen told reporters.

"We never dreamed about this but hard work pays off. But to win the Olympics we will have to go even faster. Maybe 3:42 to win the gold. We have some small gains to make, but we know Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Britain do too."

To put their exploits in Berlin into perspective, Britain's gold-medal winning time at the Rio Games four years ago was 3:50.265, almost six seconds slower.

"They have pushed the bar through the roof," New Zealand's silver medallist Aaron Gate said. "Massive hats off to the Danes, they were in another league."

Australia's bid to salvage something from the day ended outside the medals having been lapped by Italy in the battle for the bronze medal.

Yauheni Karaliok of Belarus won the men's 15-kilometre scratch race, regaining his rainbow jersey from 2018.

Australia's reigning champion Sam Welsford did not compete in the event which is not included in the program for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

Karaliok followed first Mauro Schmid of Switzerland and then Spaniard Sebastian Mora, 2016 Olympic champion, but while they faded he did not.

Mora could at least console himself with bronze, behind Italy's Simone Consonni, while Schmid ended 20th.

The United States claimed a famous gold in the women's pursuit with Chloe Dygert, Emma White, Lily Williams and Jennifer Valente, who took silver in Wednesday's scratch race, outclassing the British quartet to win in four minutes 11.235 seconds.

Britain, two-time Olympic champions, were without star Laura Kenny who rode in the semi-final despite a broken shoulder but dropped out for the final.


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