IZU, Japan (Reuters) – Germany and Britain traded world records as they set up a showdown for gold in the Olympic women’s team pursuit with sensational rides at the Izu Velodrome on Tuesday.
First Britain’s quartet led by four-time Olympic track champion Laura Kenny reclaimed their world record that Germany has obliterated 24 hours earlier.
Britain edged out the United States in a thrilling heat with a time of 4:06.748 — the only blemish being Katie Archibald and Neah Evans hitting the deck after the finish.
But they could only celebrate for a matter of minutes as Germany’s foursome of Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kroeger went even quicker to demolish Italy, stopping the clock at 4:06.159.
The two nations will race off for gold later.
Before the start of the track cycling programme on Monday, Britain’s previous world record in the women’s team pursuit (4:10.236) had endured for five years.
But predictions that a fast track combined with advances in technology would create the perfect conditions for fast times at the Izu velodrome appear to be coming true.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)