Britain retain cycling team pursuit gold in world record

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RIO DE JANEIRO: Britain retained their Olympic track cycling men’s team pursuit title by breaking the world record for the second time in a matter of 90 minutes on Friday.

Bradley Wiggins set a new British record of eight Olympic medals as he and team-mates Edward Clancy, Steven Burke and Owain Doull beat Australia in the final at the Rio velodrome.

Britain had also broken the world record in their semi-final.

Denmark beat New Zealand to take the bronze medal.

Britain had set the previous record of 3min 51.659sec for the 4km race four years ago in winning Olympic gold in London, beating Australia in the final.

Clancy and Burke were part of that team alongside Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh, while Wiggins was winning time-trial gold on the road, just a month on from making history as the first British man to win the Tour de France.

The quartet broke the record in the semi-final by setting a new mark of 3:50.570, which was almost three seconds quicker than Australia’s foursome of Alexander Edmondson, Jack Bobridge, Michael Hepburn and Sam Welsford went in their semi-final.

Australia gambled in the final, setting out at breakneck pace.

They were up by almost seven tenths of a second at the halfway point and Britain only went in front 500m from the finish.

But once they crossed the line, they had set a new world record of 3:50.265 and were three quarters of a second clear.

Wiggins won his eighth Olympic medal in his fifth Games, taking him one clear of the mark he had shared with fellow track cyclist Chris Hoy as Britain’s most decorated Olympian.

He now has team pursuit titles from 2008 and this year, individual pursuit crowns from 2004 and 2008 and his time-trial gold from four years ago.

He also won team pursuit silver and madison bronze in Athens, and team pursuit bronze in Sydney 16 yeas ago.