Australia comes within a whisker of beating Great Britain's team pursuit world record

Top seven qualifying times in the men's team pursuit at the Hong Kong track World Championships are all under four minutes

The Australian team pursuit squad were well drilled in the final, getting the better of the Great Britain quartet from the gun.
Australia team pursuit.
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Australia came within just a quarter of a second of beating Great Britain's men's team pursuit world record during qualifying at the 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The Australian quartet of Sam Welsford, Cameron Meyer, Kelland O'Brien and Alexander Porter clocked a blistering 3-50.577 to complete the four kilometres in qualifying for the team pursuit.

GB currently holds the world record, set during the Rio Olympic Games of 3-50.265. Prior to Rio, the world record stood at 3-51.659, posted by GB in the London 2012 Olympics.

In qualifying fastest, the Australian team caught the British quartet of Steven Burke, Kian Emadi, Andy Tennant and Oliver Wood, who finished with a time of 3-58.936 to qualify fifth fastest.

The top seven qualifying teams in Hong Kong all went under the magic four-minute barrier.

>>> Track World Championships 2017 live TV guide

Any TP time under four minutes used to be considered quick. Until 2000, the world record stood at 4-00.830.

Australia will now ride against France in the first round of the men's TP later on Wednesday, with GB riding against Switzerland.

In the women's TP, the USA quartet of Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert, Kimberly Geist and Jennifer Valente were the fastest qualifiers with 4-17.722. GB posted the fifth fastest time, with 4-21.548 – well below the world record time of 4-10.236 set by GB in Rio.

>>> Who are the American riders heading to Hong Kong for the Track World Champs?

USA will ride against Italy in their first round, with GB facing Poland.

The 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships run from Wednesday, April 12, to Sunday, April 16.

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Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.