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NZ men's team pursuit third in qualifying as Australia crash out

New Zealand's men's pursuit team have finished third in qualifying and will have a chance to ride in the gold medal race later this week.

New Zealand's men's team pursuit compete in qualifying at the Tokyo Olympics. Source: Associated Press

The team of Aaron Gate, Campbell Stewart, Regan Gough and Jordan Kerby rode strongly in their first race at the Tokyo Olympics, threatening to break the Olympic record set by Italy earlier in the qualifying round.

They just missed it, finishing 0.184 behind the Italians with a time of 3:46.079, but it was still good enough for third place.

World record holders Denmark took the Olympic record off Italy later in the qualifying round, posting 3:45.014.

There was high drama later on as Australian rider Alexander Porter crashed to the velodrome floor when his handlebars inexplicably snapped. The riders stopped their race immediately.

Australia later came back to redo their qualifying run, finishing in fifth.

New Zealand will face Italy tomorrow night in their heat, with the winner progressing to the gold medal race against either Denmark or Great Britain.

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