April 5, 2018 / 10:56 AM / 8 months ago

Commonwealth Games: Australia set world record in men's team 4km pursuit

Track Cycling - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Men's 4000m Team Pursuit Finals - Anna Meares Velodrome - Gold Coast, Australia - April 5, 2018. Alex Porter, Sam Welsford, Leigh Howard and Kelland O'Brien of Australia celebrate after winning the gold medal. REUTERS/Paul Childs

GOLD COAST, Australia (Reuters) - Australia’s track cyclists set the world record in the men’s 4km team pursuit at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Thursday, routing rivals England to claim the gold medal at a roaring Anna Meares Velodrome.

Leigh Howard, Sam Welsford, Kelland O’Brien and Alex Porter blazed across the line in three minutes 49.804 seconds, smashing the mark of 3:50.265 seconds set by Britain at the Rio Olympics.

The home quartet crossed nearly six seconds ahead of their English challengers, striking a blow in the battle dubbed by “the Ashes on wheels” by local media, a reference to the two nations’ fierce cricket rivalry.

On the opening night of the track cycling events, the men’s triumph came soon after their female compatriots smashed New Zealand in the gold medal decider in the same event.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Pritha Sarkar

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