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Canada's Glaesser has big day at world track cycling championships

Team Canada's Tara Whitten, Jasmin Glaesser and Gillian Carleton compete to win bronze in the Women's Team Pursuit Final at the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.


Canada's Jasmin Glaesser made quite a splash in her first appearance at the world track cycling championships.

The 19-year-old rider from Coquitlam, B.C., helped the Canadian women's pursuit team capture a bronze medal Thursday before taking silver in the 25-kilometre women's point race.

"The points race was offered to me a couple of weeks ago and I didn't really get a chance to prepare," Glaesser said. "But it's a great opportunity and I was really glad I got to do it.

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"I was tired but having been on the podium earlier in the evening, there was some adrenalin in my system and that definitely helped out. But the main focus was the team pursuit, because that's the Olympic event."

Britain defended its women's team pursuit title with a dramatic win over Australia.

Danielle King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell trailed Josephine Tomic, Melissa Hoskins and Annette Edmondson by more than a second after the first half of the 3,000-metre race, but surged back in the final leg to win in three minutes 15.720 seconds. Australia finished in 3:16.943.

Edmonton's Tara Whitten, Victoria's Gillian Carleton and Glaesser were third in a time of 3:19.529, ahead of New Zealand in 3:19.847.

"We knew this team pursuit was really big for the British and Australian teams but our buildup is for the Olympics in four months so I'm not as disappointed as I would be normally with a bronze medal," said Glaesser.

"I was pretty impressed with Great Britain doing a 3:15," added Whitten. "But now I'm excited, because we know what we have to shoot for in London at the Olympics.

"It's going to be fast, but I think we have the power to do it."

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Carleton said the Canadian team still has plenty of time to prepare for the London Games.

"We weren't quite as focused on this event as we were in February at the Olympic test event so we did a lot of training heading into it," she said. "I'm happy with the time we did.

"I think it is representative of what we are capable of right now and we have four months to refocus for the Olympics."

The women's team pursuit was the second event to boast a new record at Melbourne's Hisense Arena on Thursday and the third time the record in the event was broken at the meet after Australia, then Britain, set world marks in qualifying.

"We didn't know what we could do," King said. "We knew we had a good ride, but we just wanted to do the best we could and the time was just phenomenal."

Later Thursday, Russia's Anastasia Chulkova pulled away from Glaesser on the final lap to win the women's 25-kilometre point race with 31 points.

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Glaesser finished with 28 points, ahead of third-placed Caroline Ryan of Ireland with 24.

In other finals, Stefan Nimke of Germany defended his one-kilometre time trail title in 1:00.082, but failed to make a dent in the event's 11-year record time of 58.875 held by French rider Arnaud Tournant.

Michael D'Almeida of France was second in 1:00.509, with New Zealand's Simon Van Velthooven third with 1:00.543.

In qualifying earlier Thursday, the Australians initially broke the women's team pursuit record with a time of 3:17.053, beating the previous mark of 3:18.148 set by Britain at February's track world cup in London.

King, Trott and Rowsell then clocked 3:16.850 to regain the record.

"My goal here was to get on the podium and improve on London (in February) and we've done that, so we've got one step to go and we've got a few months hopefully to get there," Tomic said of her Olympic ambitions.

Rowsell said she expected the women's team pursuit to produce more records at this year's London Olympics.

"The event as a whole is still developing and we're seeing faster and faster times every time it's ridden at international level," she said. "I don't think the absolute limit's quite been found yet. We did 3:15 and I'm definitely sure we can go faster than that again.

"All the countries are going to keep pushing each other," Rowsell said. "Australia was such good competition ... we'll see come the Olympics, but I think we're going to see some faster times."

Defending champion Anna Meares of Australia earlier set the a world record in the flying 200 metres during qualifying for the women's sprint.

Meares's time of 10.782 eclipsed the old mark of 10.793 set by Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite at Moscow in 2010.

Meares and British rival Victoria Pendleton later advanced to Friday's sprint semifinals, along with Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine and Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania.

World records have now been set in four events at the meet after Britain broke the men's team pursuit mark and Germany twice set records for the women's team sprint on the opening day.

— With files from The Associated Press

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