Nineteen-year-old Ryan Mullen has qualified for the bronze medal ride-off in the individual pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia.

The young rider impressed in the qualifying rounds of the individual pursuit tonight, finishing as fourth-fastest rider, and will race for bronze later on tonight.

Martyn Irvine, who won silver in this event last year, finished in 12th position.

The gold medal will be decided between Alexander Edmondson (AUS) and Stefan Keung (SUI).

Mullen will challenge Marc Ryan (NZL) for the bronze, with 0.554 seconds separating the two.

Irvine competes in the scratch race final later on tonight, where he starts as reigning world champion.

Mullen, who won a bronze medal in the individual pursuit at the U23 European Championships last year in his first year out of the junior ranks, has been improving constantly on the track.

In January he finished the individual pursuit in seventh place, in a time of 4.25.664, and this evening he clocked up an impressive personal best of 4.22.419.

Speaking after the qualifying round, head coach Brian Nugent said: “That was a super debut by Ryan in his first World Championships.

"He rode really strong, and held on well. It will be a great final tonight. The job isn’t done yet.”

Later on tonight, at approximately 12.30am Irish time, Irvine will race in the scratch race, an event in which he dominated last year, becoming the first Irish rider to win a World Championship Title on the track in over 100 years.

Speaking about Irvine’s pursuit result, Nugent said: “Martyn put in a solid ride, but just didn’t get on top of it. It was still a strong ride, and a fast time. He will be ready for the scratch race tonight.”

At last year’s World Championships Irvine famously won a gold medal in the scratch race within half an hour of winning silver in the pursuit.