Britain wins women's team pursuit

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Britain's defending champion women's team pursuit squad beat Australia in a dramatic finish 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 half 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 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.

On the men's side, Stefan Nimke of Germany defended his 1-kilometer time trail title in 1:000.082, but failed to make a dent in the event's 11-year record time of 58.875 held by French rider Arnaud Tournant.

Michael D'Almeida of France was second in 1:000.509, with New Zealand;s Simon Van Velthooven third with 1:000.543.

In qualifying earlier Thursday, the Australians initially broke the women's team pursuit record with a time of 3:17.053, beating the previous 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.

"My goal here was to get on the podium and improve on London (in February) and we've done that, so we've got one step to go and we've got a few months hopefully to get there," Tomic said of her Olympic ambitions.

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

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

Meares' time of 10.782 eclipsed the old mark of 10.793 set by Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite at Moscow in 2010.

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.