Rasmussen wins Denmark's first gold

Updated: March 25, 2010, 6:00 PM ET
Associated Press

BALLERUP, Denmark -- Australia doubled its gold medal tally to four at the track cycling world championships Thursday, breaking the world record in the women's team sprint and beating Britain in the women's team pursuit final.

New Zealand failed to qualify for the final in the team pursuit but set a new world record as it won the bronze medal race against the United States.

Nineteen-year-old U.S. rider Taylor Phinney won the men's individual pursuit, while Denmark's Alex Rasmussen clinched the host country's first gold in the men's scratch race.

Olympic champion Chris Hoy of Britain won the men's keirin, beating Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia in the last event of the day. It was the 10th career world championship gold medal for Hoy, who missed last year's competition because of an injury.

"I was sitting at home last year watching this on the television and I wanted to be in it so badly," he said. "So tonight was a great victory for me."

Australian pair Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares outpaced China in the final of the women's team sprint in a world-record time of 32.923 seconds. The old mark stood at 33.037. Lithuania beat Britain for bronze.

Australia's strong performance on the Ballerup track continued in the women's team pursuit, where Ashlee Ankudinoff, Sarah Kent and Josephine Tomic finished ahead of Britain in the final.

But New Zealand clocked the fastest time with 3:21.552 when it beat the U.S. to take the bronze. That was 0.325 seconds faster than the previous record.

In the men's pursuit, Phinney finished the four-kilometer race in 4 minutes, 16.6 seconds -- nearly two seconds better than silver medalist Jesse Sergent of New Zealand. Australia's Jack Bobridge got the bronze.

"I came here to win, but my main goal is beat the world record," Phinney said of Christopher Boardman's mark of 4:11.114.

In the 60-lap scratch race, Rasmussen edged ahead of Juan Esteban Arango Carvajal of Colombia, with Japan's Kazuhiro Mori coming in third.

"There was so much pressure on me to win today, especially as I'm on home ground here. But to win is an amazing feeling," Rasmussen said.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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