* Welte and Vogel win women’s team sprint title
* Australia denied fourth straight title (Adds details)
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE, April 4 (Reuters) - Germany broke the world record twice in the space of an hour to win the women’s team sprint title at the track cycling world championships on Wednesday.
Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel clocked 32.549 seconds in the final at the Hisense Arena to better the mark of 32.630 seconds set in their qualifying heat.
After dumping in-form British pair Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish out of their head-to-head qualifier, the ice-cool Germans withstood a ferocious challenge to deny Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch a fourth consecutive title.
Pendleton and Varnish set the previous world record of 32.754 at the London World Cup meeting last February.
“I don’t know what we did today. It’s so amazing and we never believed we could go so fast,” Vogel told reporters after the Germans edged the Australian pair by 0.048 seconds.
“It’s now just a dream and I have to calm down.
“I told Miriam that we wanted to do a new German record but to do a new world record, it’s amazing. I don’t understand that at the moment.”
The Germans’ achievement was a bolt from the blue at Hisense Arena, where Australia was expected to battle with Britain for the title.
“They’re a great combination...It’s not as if they’ve just turned up,” Olympic individual sprint champion Pendleton said.
“The pair of them have both had exceptional performances over the last four or five years but they’ve never managed to put them together at the right time and tonight that’s what happened.
“I wouldn’t say we did a terrible ride, they just did an exceptional ride in terms of a really storming first lap and a very, very strong finish.”
(Editing by John Mehaffey)
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