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The Track World Championships have opened in scintillating fashion with multiple world records falling on the first day of competition.
The Danish men’s team pursuit squad didn’t just break the world record in qualifying, they went on to break their own record just a few hours later.
In qualifying the quartet of Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen set a staggeringly fast time of 3:46.579 for the 4 km effort (63.554 kph average), smashing the previous world record of 3:48.012 set by Australia at last year’s Track World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland.
A few hours later the Danes went even faster than they did in qualifying, setting a 3:46.203 to win heat 4 of the first round. It was a narrow victory — Italy’s time of 3:46.513 would have been a new world record as well.
The Danes weren’t the only ones setting multiple world records on day 1 of competition. The Dutch sprint trio of Jeffrey Hoogland, Harrie Lavreysen and Roy van den Berg set a new benchmark with a time of 41.275 seconds for the three-lap race (65.415 kph average). The previous record of 41.871 was set back in 2013 by Germany at the high-altitude track in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
After setting a new world record in the first round, the Dutch team went even better in the final a few hours later. Their time of 41.225 was enough to beat Great Britain for the gold medal and snag their second world record for the day.
The five-day Track World Championships is the last major track meet before the Tokyo Olympics in July and August. Thursday’s schedule includes finals for the men’s team pursuit (Denmark vs New Zealand for gold), the women’s team pursuit, the men’s keirin and the men’s scratch race.