Canadian men skate into team pursuit final

Canada set an Olympic record and has advanced to the final in men’s long track speed skating after winning their semi-final heat against Norway on Friday.

Led by Denny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux, the Canadian team finished the race in a time of three minutes 42.22 seconds, surpassing their record setting time of 3:42.39 set in the quarterfinals.

Despite lacking in individual accomplishments so far in Vancouver, the Canadian team was able to hold an early lead and skated in unison the rest of the way, beating the Norwegians by 1.22 seconds.

Morrison has had the best individual performance in these of Olympics of the three, finishing ninth place in the men’s 1500m.

In the other semi-final match, the United States upset Sven Kramer and his team from the Netherlands, beating them by 0.39 seconds.

Canada won silver in 2006 and will look to add to the rivalry against the U.S. that has been a prevalent theme in Vancouver.

Earlier on Friday, Canada set the Olympic record in their heat against Italy, dominating the defending gold medalists by 3.97 seconds.

In heat two of the quarterfinals, Norway edged South Korea by three-hundredths of a second but remained behind the pace set by the Canadians.

Heat three featured Japan and the United States with the American skaters winning with a time of 3:44.25.

Kramer led his Dutch contingent in the fourth quarterfinal as the Netherlands skated past Team Sweden in a time of 3:44.25.

The finals are set to take place Saturday at 12:51 p.m. PST at the Richmond Olympic Oval.