Britain wins gold, breaks world record in women's team pursuit

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Britain's women's team pursuit squad beat Australia in a dramatic finish on Thursday to win gold in record-breaking time on the second day of the world track cycling championships.

Britain's Danielle King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell trailed Josephine Tomic, Melissa Hoskins and Annette Edmondson by more than a second after the first third of the 3,000-meter race, but surged back in the final leg to win in 3 minutes, 15.720 seconds. Australia finished in 3:16.943.

It was the second event to boast a new record at Melbourne's Hisense Arena on Thursday and the third time the women's team pursuit record was broken at the meet after Australia, then Britain, set new world marks in qualifying.

"We didn't know what we could do. We knew we had a good ride, but we just wanted to do the best we could and the time was just phenomenal," King said

Canada won bronze in 3:19.529, ahead of New Zealand in 3:19.847.

In qualifying earlier Thursday, the Australians initially broke the record with a time of 3:17.053, beating the mark of 3:18.148 set by Britain at February's track world cup in London.

King, Trott and Rowsell then clocked 3:16.850 to regain the record.

Rowsell said she expected the women's team pursuit to produce more records at this year's London Olympics.

"The event as whole is still developing and we're seeing faster and faster times every time it's ridden at international level," she said. "I don't think the absolute limit's quite been found yet. We did 3:15 and I'm definitely sure we can go faster than that again.

"All the countries are going to keep pushing each other," Rowsell said. "Australia was such good competition ... we'll see come the Olympics, but I think we're going to see some faster times."

Defending champion Anna Meares of Australia earlier set a world record in the flying 200 meters during qualifying for the women's sprint.

Meares' time of 10.782 seconds at Melbourne's Hisense Arena eclipsed the mark of 10.793 set by Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite at Moscow in 2010. The flying 200 is part of the qualification for the women's sprint.

Meares and British rival Victoria Pendleton later advanced to Friday's sprint semifinals, along with Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine and Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania.

World records have now been set in four events at the meet after Britain broke the men's team pursuit mark and Germany twice set records for the women's team sprint on the opening day.