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Track worlds: U.S. women smash team pursuit qualifier

The Americans delivered a head-turning performance in women’s team pursuit qualifiers Thursday at UCI Track World Championships in London. The four-women squad of Sarah Hammer, Jennifer Valente, Chloe Dygert, and Kelly Catlin qualified first in the team event and also broke the event’s national record by more than five seconds.

Canada slotted into second place in qualifiers, 4.484 seconds distant of the U.S.’s 4:16.180 mark, while New Zealand was third, a fraction of a second slower in the four-kilometer test.

Hammer, a seven-time track world champion and Olympic medalist, is captain of the young team. Dygert, a two-time junior world champion on the road in Richmond, Virginia, is 19 years old, while Catlin and Valente are 20 and 21, respectively.

Australia’s four-women team of Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins, Amy Cure, and Ashlee Ankudinoff holds the world record in women’s team pursuit, having ridden 4:13.683 in last year’s track worlds in France.