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Australia strike cycling gold again

August 23, 2004 22:06 IST

Australia won their first men's Olympic team pursuit title in 20 years on Monday to take their medals haul from track cycling at the Athens Games to four from four days of competition.

The world champions, who had destroyed their own world record in Sunday's qualifiers, were comfortable winners against Britain, who were seeking their first gold in the event since the London Games of 1908.

Australia's win gave Brad McGee a gold to add to the silver he took in the individual pursuit on Saturday.

Spain came from behind to beat defending champions Germany in the race for bronze, claiming only the fourth Olympic track cycling medal of their history.

Australia's win was their first in this event since the Los Angeles Games of 1984 and only their second ever.

It takes their medal tally from cycling at these Games to five -- three golds and two silvers -- including a gold in the women's road race on the opening weekend.

Britain's defeat in the final means their long search for a gold medal in the men's team pursuit goes on.

Since that initial victory 96 years ago, they have taken two silvers and no fewer than nine bronzes in this event but have never topped the podium.

Nevertheless, their silver was their 38th medal in the 108-year history of Olympic track cycling, taking them above Italy on 37 into second place in the overall standings. France have the biggest haul with 56.

Spain's bronze gave Sergi Escobar his second medal of the Games following his third place in the individual pursuit.

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