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Australian women stun Britain

ANNA Meares and Kaarle McCulloch took the women's team sprint title on Thursday to give Australia its second gold medal of the track world championships.

The duo beat defending champion Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade of Britain. Lithuania took bronze.

Australia top the medals table in Pruszkow, Poland, with two golds, two silvers and one bronze.

"As a nation we're doing really well," Meares, also a silver medalist in the 500-meter time trial, said.

"A lot of people told us after Beijing that we were really off the bandwagon, and if you look at it in terms of results then yes we did only get one medal [at the Olympics].

"But if you look at our overall performance here and the younger riders coming through then we're not doing so badly at all."

McCulloch and Meares finished in 33.149 seconds. Pendleton and Reade, world champions the previous two years, crossed in 33.380.

American teenager Taylor Phinney turned in the strongest single performance of the night with gold in the individual pursuit against Australian Jack Bobridge.

In a tight 4,000-meter battle, the 18-year-old lagged behind Bobridge for the first half of the course before a late surge earned him gold. Belgium's Dominique Cornu finished third.

"I definitely expected myself to win, so it's good that I did," Phinney said.

The son of sprinter Davis Phinney and former pursuit world champion Connie Carpenter, Phinney said his parents' feats did not mean more pressure on him.

"I sort of use that to fuel the fire, I see myself as having a big genetic advantage over everyone else."

France's Morgan Kneisky won the men's scratch race, ahead of Argentina's Dario Colla and Andreas Muller of Austria.

The three were part of a six-man move which formed halfway through the 60-lap event and lapped the field

Germany took its first gold medal of the championships thanks to Maximilian Levy's victory in the men's Keirin. France's Francois Pervis won the silver and Teun Mulder of the Netherlands the bronze.

The British trio of Elizabeth Armitstead, Wendy Houvenaghel and Jo Rowsell justified their position as favorites by finishing over a second ahead of New Zealand's Alison Shanks, Jaime Neilsen and Lauren Ellis in the women's team pursuit. Australia won bronze.


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