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1ST LEAD British women's pursuit team blasts through to gold with new record By Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl and Stefan Tabeling, dpa

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Britain clinched Olympic gold in the women‘s track cycling team pursuit on Saturday, carrying on the British domination in the sport with a smattering of world records.

Britain has taken three of the four gold medals available in Rio for team events in track cycling, with the men winning pursuit and sprint gold earlier this week - allowing Bradley Wiggins to clinch his eighth Olympic medal along the way for a British record total.

"It has been hugely emotional watching the guys‘ team. They have been inspirational," Joanna Rowsell-Shand said after helping the women‘s team triumph in the pursuit race.

Britain set a new world record of 4 minutes 10.236 seconds in the 4,000-metre race, thrashing the United States in the final by more than 2 seconds.

This surpassed the record of 4:12.152 that the four-strong team - which also includes Katie Archibald, Laura Trott and Elinor Barker - had set just hours earlier when they qualified for the finals.

"We felt like a machine, a well-run machine," Trott said. "I‘ve never been in a team that feels so seamless. You could tell everyone was giving 100 per cent to get across that finish line."

"This is for every time we didn‘t go out, every time we ordered fish instead of pizza," Barker added. "This is worth it. It pays off."

The US took silver in the race with a time of 4:12.454, while Canada won bronze with 4:14.627.

Becky James then added to the British medal count in the keirin race, winning silver behind the Netherlands‘ Elis Ligtlee who took gold. Australia‘s Anna Meares clinched bronze to become her country‘s most decorated Olympic cyclist with six medals (2-1-3).

"I knew it was going to be a quick race with all of those good riders in it. I didn‘t know how far I was going to get but I didn‘t think I would get anywhere near the medals," a delighted James said, completing a comeback from two years of health and injury problems.

In the last two Olympics, Britain won a record of seven gold medals in cycling.

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