Japan sets an Olympic record in the women’s speed skating team pursuit

The Associated Press
Team Japan, lead by Takagi Nana, with Takagi Miho, center, and Sato Ayano behind, competes in the speed skating women’s team pursuit quarterfinals at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Saturday.

BEIJING (AP) — Japan has set an Olympic record in the quarterfinals of the women’s speed skating team pursuit at the Beijing Olympics.

Japan broke its own Olympic mark Saturday with a time of 2 minutes, 53.61 seconds, advancing to the semifinals as the top qualifier.

The Japanese will face the fourth-fastest qualifier, the Russian Olympic Committee (2:57.66). Canada (2:53.97) and the Netherlands (2:57.26) also advanced and will meet in the other semifinal.

China and Norway were relegated to the C final. Belarus and Poland will meet in the D final.