Italy takes team pursuit gold with another world record

In a nail-biting finish Italy was able to peg back Denmark and set a new benchmark.

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Italy has taken gold in the men’s team pursuit at the Tokyo Olympics, breaking its own world record in the process.

In a nail-biting, see-sawing gold-medal race, Italy led for much of the 4,000 metres, before drifting to nearly a second behind Denmark with 1,000 m to go. With 500 m to go Italy was still half a second behind, before a blistering final two laps from Filippo Ganna dragged the Italians back in front inside the final 125 metres.

The Italians completed their effort with a time of 3:42.032, fractionally ahead of Denmark, and three-tenths of a second faster than the world record Italy had set a day earlier in the first round of competition. Denmark’s time of 3:42.198 was also faster than the old world record.

A breakdown of the super-close men’s team pursuit final.

Italy’s was the sixth team pursuit world record that has been broken on the super-fast Izu Velodrome this week, after the German women set three new records, Great Britain’s women set one, and after the Italian men’s world record from the first round.

Moments before the gold-medal race, Australia and New Zealand faced off for the bronze medal. The two teams were neck and neck before a touch of wheels at the back of the Kiwi train threw New Zealand’s medal hopes into disarray.

Australia’s bronze medal will come as some comfort after its team pursuit campaign was derailed in qualifying when Alex Porter’s handlebar snapped mid-race.

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