By Nigel Wynn published
Great Britain's team pursuit quartet of Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Laura Trott, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker set a new world record at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to progress to Saturday's gold medal final against USA.
Prior to GB's first round ride against Canada, the USA team of Sarah Hammer, Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert and Jennifer Valente had beaten GB's previous world record set during qualifiers.
The USA's record of 4-12.282 set as they beat Australia was short-lived, barely standing for 10 minutes before GB set a new mark of 4-12.152.
The proximity of the two team's times means that the gold medal will go right down to the wire, with both squads in absolute top form and very evenly matched.
New Zealand will face Canada to ride off for the bronze medal. Both events will take place on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, both GB riders Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner won their heats in the men's sprint to go through to the quarter finals.
GB's Becky James also won her heat in the women's keirin to go through to the second round. Like the women's team pursuit, the keirin concludes on Saturday evening.
Rio 2016 Olympic Games, women's team pursuit first round
Italy 4-22.964 beat China 4-23.678
New Zealand 4-17.592 [bronze final] beat Poland [disqualified]
USA 4-12.282 [gold final] beat Australia 4-20.262
Great Britain 4-12.152 [gold final] beat Canada 4-15.636 [bronze final]
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.
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