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Kate O'Brien, Amelia Walsh sprint to 5th at track cycling worlds

Canada's team of Kate O'Brien and Amelia Walsh finished fifth in the team sprint at the world track cycling championships in Hong Kong. Fellow Canadian Jasmin Duehring was sixth in the women's 10-kilometre scratch race.

Fellow Canadian Jasmin Duehring 6th in women’s 10km scratch race

Kate O'Brien and Amelia Walsh of Canada compete during the first round of the women's team sprint on Day 1 of the 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships at the Hong Kong Velodrome on Wednesday. They finished fifth. (Kevin Lee/Getty Images)

Russia and New Zealand won the first gold medals at world track cycling championships Wednesday in Hong Kong.

The Australian team of Kaarle Mcculloch and Stephanie Morton took silver and Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel Bronze of Germany got bronze at the Hong Kong Veledrome.

Canada's team of Kate O'Brien and Amelia Walsh finished fifth.

"I was projecting sixth to eighth, with fifth being the best possible we could attain," said Canada coach Erin Hartwell. We came up on Spain to take fifth after qualifying seventh, which was a huge ride for us. Overall, a very solid night for the girls."

The top-ranked Russian women's team of Anastasia Voinova and Daria Shemeleva won their second world title in the team sprint.

Olympic silver medallists retain sprint title

"We worked hard to win today," Shemeleva said, speaking through a translator.

The New Zealand men's team of Ethan Mitchel, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins — the Olympic silver medallists — retained their sprint title. The Netherlands finished in second and France won bronze.

After losing out on the Olympic gold last year in Rio de Janeiro, the Kiwis are already looking ahead to 2020.

"Tokyo is always in the back of our mind," Dawkins said. "Every race is a mini Tokyo. Every race is as if we were there putting ourselves under the same amount of pressure. So when it comes down to racing on that day we're not overwhelmed by it."

In the women's 10-kilometre scratch race, top-ranked Rachele Barbieri of Italy won gold. Elinor Barker of Britain was second, followed by Jolien D'hoore of Belgium in third.

Canada's Jasmin Duehring finished sixth.

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