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GB miss out on team sprint medal

Olympic champions Great Britain missed out on a medal in the men's team sprint on day two of the Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk.

The men's team sprint squad of Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Kian Emadi finished in 44.270 seconds in qualifying, good enough for sixth.

New Zealand's Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins were fastest qualifiers in the three-man, three-lap event in 43.580secs and will meet Germany in the final after Rene Enders, Stefan Botticher and Maximilian Levy clocked 43.731. France and Australia will contest bronze, while Russia were also quicker than Britain.

Hindes and Kenny won London 2012 gold with Sir Chris Hoy, who is currently on sabbatical as he considers his future, with 20-year-old Emadi taking the Scot's place in his first senior World Championships.

And Britain's long wait for a world title in the event goes on.

Los Angeles in 2005 was the last time Britain's men won the team sprint at a World Championships, when Hoy combined with Jamie Staff and Jason Queally, meaning that curiously Kenny has two Olympic titles, but none in the annual global event.

The qualifying ride was ragged and led to an ultimately disappointing result.

There was better news in the women's team pursuit as Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker qualified almost two seconds clear of the field for the final, where they will meet Australia in the ride for gold.

Trott and King won world and Olympic titles in 2012 and were joined in the line-up by 18-year-old Barker, with Joanna Rowsell concentrating on the road this year.

The trio finished in three minutes 18.704 seconds, while Australia's Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins clocked 3mins 20.696secs to go through to the gold medal ride-off.

Britain have a rich history in the 3km team pursuit - which following this competition will become a 4km, four-rider event - and are seeking a fifth title in six years since it was added to the programme in 2008.

The only loss in that time came when Australia won gold in 2010.

Trott and King have won the last two World Championships and are seeking a hat-trick, while Barker is making her senior debut.

Canada (3:22.784) and Poland (3:28.096) will meet for bronze.

Ireland's Martyn Irvine will go for gold in the non-Olympic men's individual pursuit.

Irvine clocked 4:20.260 seconds in the four-kilometre event to qualify second fastest and will now meet defending world champion Michael Hepburn of Australia in the final. Hepburn qualified in 4:18.456.

Great Britain's Steven Burke finished a disappointing 17th.

Britain last won the event through Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2008, but focus has switched to the team event since the individual discipline was dropped from the Olympics after the Beijing Games.

The men's team sprint was a challenge for Britain in the four years between Beijing and London, with the search for a successor for Staff only complete when German-born Hindes, who has a British father, showed dramatic late improvement.

Now another search is on, this time to replace six-time Olympic champion Hoy, who is deliberating whether to continue to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow or to retire.

Sprint coach Jan van Eijden said: "It's very hard to replace someone like Chris. We have four years to hopefully get it right."

Emadi could yet prove to be the right candidate of a pool which includes Matt Crampton and Callum Skinner among others, but he struggled today.

Perhaps his exertions in the one-kilometre time-trial - when he placed fourth - caught up with him, but a more simple explanation was that the acceleration of Hindes and Kenny was simply too much for him.

Hindes finds additional starting power in competition which is absent in training, making preparation challenging.

Van Eijden added: "It's hard in training to simulate that hard start. Because Philip did fairly well Jason had to go after him, that really stretched Kian.

"It's always a little bit disappointing if you don't make the finals for gold or for bronze.

"We need to go back to the drawing board and hopefully come back stronger next year."