The Irish women’s team were narrowly beaten by Australia in the first round of the four- kilometre Team Pursuit at the World Track Championships in Berlin. Despite the loss the team will take heart from the ride which saw them break a new national record.
In qualifying on Wednesday the team set the new record as the quartet of Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe, and Lara Gillespie broke the previous record set in Minsk in 2019 by four seconds with a time of 4:21.37.
The Irish women went very close to that time again yesterday, just under half a second off the time they recorded in qualifying, however it was not enough to beat the flying Australian’s.
The USA were crowned overall champions in a time of 4:11.235, which was almost two seconds faster than silver medal winners Great Britain, who clocked 4:13.129.
Attention will now turn to Irish medal hopeful Mark Downey who takes part in the points race today. Downey will be fighting for a place at the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year, with the final qualifying spot to be settled between Ireland and Hong Kong.
“Everyone’s focused on the Olympics here and we all know it’s our last chance to qualify so the pressure is definitely on,” said the 23-year old from Dromore.
“We know what we have to do, it’s just a matter of making it happen and a bit of good luck on the boards too. I perform better when I’m under pressure so I’m trying to take it all in my stride.”