Britain romp to team pursuit gold

LONDON Fri Aug 3, 2012 2:44pm EDT

Britain's Ed Clancy (L), Geraint Thomas (R), Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh (2nd R) pose with their medals during the victory ceremony after the track cycling men's team pursuit gold final at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 3, 2012. Britain won the gold with a new world record of 3:51.659. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

Britain's Ed Clancy (L), Geraint Thomas (R), Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh (2nd R) pose with their medals during the victory ceremony after the track cycling men's team pursuit gold final at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 3, 2012. Britain won the gold with a new world record of 3:51.659.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hanna

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain demolished Australia and their own world record to defend the men's Olympic team pursuit gold medal they won four years ago in Beijing and send the home crowd into a state of delirium on Friday.

The British quartet of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh finished in three minutes, 51.659 seconds, almost three seconds clear of the silver medalists.

David Bowie's "Heroes" blasted out over the tannoy as the home fans clapped the gold medalists on a lap of honor after they shaved almost a second off the previous record set on Thursday.

New Zealand beat Russia to the bronze medal in a time of 3:55.952.

"We were sure (we could go faster than on Thursday). We were amazed at the time we did in qualifying and when there's another team pushing you always go faster again," Kennaugh told reporters.

Kennaugh added that the 3:50 barrier could be next for the British team.

"A couple of us had niggles so if we were all four of us at the top of our game maybe we could," he said.

Australia had no choice but to be gracious.

"We came up against a team that's the best in the world right now. They had exceptional rides. They got three world records," Michael Hepburn told reporters.

(Additional reporting by Kevin Liffey; editing by Ed Osmond and Matt Falloon)

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