February 19, 2018 / 11:44 AM / a year ago

Olympics-Speed skating-Dutch set Olympic record in team pursuit qualifier

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Defending champions the Netherlands set an Olympic record of 2 minutes and 55.61 seconds in the women's team pursuit quarter-finals on Monday to lead the standings ahead of Japan, Canada and the United States.

All four teams kept their medal hopes alive heading into Wednesday's semi-finals and final at the Gangneung Oval.

The Dutch will be paired with the U.S. in the first semi while Japan race Canada, with the two fastest teams going through to the final.

Racing in the first pair with hosts South Korea, the Dutch trio of Marrit Leenstra, Ireen Wust and Antoinette de Jong shaved 2.44 seconds of the record set by the Dutch team at the Sochi Games four years ago.

Reporting by Simon Jennings, editing by Ed Osmond

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