China set a women’s team sprint world record at the Olympics on Thursday, minutes after hosts Britain had done the same as the Olympic track cycling got off to a thrilling start.
Guo Shuang and Gong Jinjie clocked 32.447 seconds to qualify fastest for the first round after British pair Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish had been roared on by a passionate home crowd to set 32.526 after a slow start.
That beat Germany’s record from April.
The women’s team sprint is making its debut at the Olympics.
China will meet Venezuela and Britain will battle Ukraine in Thursday’s first round, which acts as a semi-final, with Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and France also progressing at the expense of South Korea and Colombia.
The final in the futuristic but very humid velodrome was scheduled for later on Thursday.