The Irish pursuit team narrowly missed out on beating their own personal best at the world track championships in Ballerup, where they finished in 13th spot.

The quartet of David O'Loughlin, Matt Brammeier, Martyn Irvine and Stephen Barrett covered the 4000 metre distance in a time of four minutes 12.136 seconds, 0.549 off the Irish record of 4:11.587.

That was set in the same velodrome during the Copenhagen World Cup of February 2009. Today marks the Irish team's debut in this discipline at the track worlds.

The Great Britain squad were the fastest in qualifying, scorching around the track in a time of three minutes 56.869 seconds. This was over a second faster than second-placed Australia, who they will meet in this evening's gold medal final.

New Zealand and Denmark were third and fourth and will race for the bronze medal.

Only those four teams qualify for the next round, meaning that the Irish riders are confirmed as finishing thirteenth overall.

The championships continue until Sunday, but the Irish riders have now completed their participation.