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Ireland post best result in Women's Team Pursuit to finish eighth at Worlds

The quartet of Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe and Lara Gillespie faced world champions Australia in the first round.

The Irish riders in action earlier this week.
The Irish riders in action earlier this week.
Image: DPA/PA Images

IRELAND’S WOMEN’S TEAM Pursuit squad finished eighth at the World Championship in Berlin earlier today as they posted their best ever result in the tournament.

The quartet of Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe and Lara Gillespie faced world champions Australia in the first round, having lowered the national record by over four seconds with a time of 4:21.368 during qualification yesterday.

While Ireland missed out on chance to ride for medals, they did stop the clock in a time of 4:21.844, just outside their national record.

“We had set our sights quite high; we were hoping for sub 4:22 so we achieved that and can leave happy and proud of the work we have put in,” Sharpe explained afterwards.

“We set out with the same plan as the ride before… we were trying to be a bit more aggressive because we felt we had more to give but we were focusing on our own race and if they (Australia) came around us, they came around us, but we were totally focused on our own ride.”

Meanwhile, Felix English, who went in the Men’s Scratch race on day two of the World Championships showed he is in good form ahead of his target race, the Men’s Madison. He hit the front early in the 15-kilometre event, part of a large move looking to gain a lap on their competitors. The attempt was ultimately brought back, and a later move proved more successful.

English finished in a very solid 11th place from a field of 24 riders. Yauheni Karaliok of Belarus was one of six riders to gain a lap and went on to win the sprint to take gold.

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English will team up with Mark Downey on Sunday for a chance at securing an Olympic slot in the Men’s Madison.

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