sport

Irvine in gold medal hunt

Ireland's Martyn Irvine will go for gold in the men's individual pursuit on day two of the Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk.

Irvine clocked four minutes 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 4mins 18.456secs.

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

Burke was lapped by qualifying opponent Alex Morgan, who, like Hepburn, was part of the Australian quartet which won gold ahead of Britain on day one, and clocked 4:32.153.

Burke, 2008 Olympic individual pursuit bronze medallist behind Bradley Wiggins, was a late replacement for Andy Tennant, who was withdrawn following the team pursuit.

The 24-year-old from Lancashire, who won London 2012 team pursuit gold, was seeking to become Britain's first world champion in the now non-Olympic event since Wiggins in Manchester in March 2008.

Now Britain's wait will be at least six years, with next year's World Championships in Cali, Colombia the next opportunity.

It shows the switch in focus after the individual pursuit was dropped following the 2008 Olympics.

In the women's team pursuit, Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker will ride for gold against perennial rivals Australia after qualifying fastest by almost two seconds.

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 3:18.704, while Australia's Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins clocked 3:20.696 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.