Cycling: British women extend team pursuit reign

CALI (Colombia) (AFP) - Britain retained their women's team pursuit world crown on Thursday, rallying to vanquish Canada to claim their first gold of the 2014 track cycling world championships.

Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell - members of the team who won Olympic gold before home fans in London in 2012 - Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald triumphed in 4min 23.407sec in the 4km race.

They had qualified fastest by two seconds in blustery conditions earlier in the day, but it was Canada who seized the initiative in the final, opening up a lead of 1.10sec at the halfway stage before Britain stormed back, gaining control over the final 750m to beat Canada's Laura Brown, Jasmin Glaesser, Allison Beveridge and Stephanie Roorda by 1.29sec.

Australia (Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure, Melissa Hoskins, Isabella King) took bronze, catching the Poland squad with around a kilometre to go in the race for third place.

Germany's Miriam Welte won the women's 500m time trial gold with a time of 33.451sec, denying Australian Anna Meares a record 11th world title.

Welte had already claimed gold in the women's team sprint on Wednesday, teaming with Kristina Vogel for a victory over China.

Meares settled for silver in 33.548, with Anastasia Voinova of Russia taking bronze.

Although the 30-year-old from South Australia could not add a fifth 500m time trial gold to her cache, she did claim her 21st world championships medal.

And she will have two more chances to add a record 11th world title to her resume in sprint and keirin events before the competition concludes.

Meares currently shares the record of 10 career world titles with France's Felicia Ballanger.

Defending 500m time trial world champion Sarah Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong finished sixth.

Australia's Alexander Edmonson, 20, won the men's individual pursuit, beating Switzerland's Stefan Kueng in the final.

Edmondson clocked 4min 22.582sec over the 4km race, averaging 54.84 kmh to edge Kueng by 41 hundredths of a second. He claimed his second gold medal in as many days, after riding on the Australian squad that rallied to retain their men's team pursuit title on Wednesday.

New Zealand's Marc Ryan earned bronze, beating Ireland's Ryan Mullen in the race for third place.

Francois Pervis of France, 29, won the men's keirin gold, finishing ahead of Colombian Fabian Puerta and Mattijs Buchli of the Netherlands in the final.

The 1km world record-holder notched his first world title in the event and will try to add two more individual titles before the week is out - in Friday's 1km time trial and the weekend's sprint.

Germany's Joachim Eilers finished fourth ahead of Britain's defending champion Jason Kenny.

Russia's Ivan Kovalev won the men's 15 km scratch race ahead of defending champion Martyn Irvine of Ireland and Hong Kong's Cheung King Lok. Cheung's finish gave Hong Kong another world championships medal in the non-Olympic event, after Kwok Ho Ting's triumph in 2011.

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