Britain beats US to cycling gold in women's team pursuit

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - The two fastest women's track cycling pursuit teams locked horns for gold at the Olympics on Saturday but the expected close battle ended in a romp for Britain as they crushed their American rivals in another world record.

After trailing early on the quartet of Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell-Shand cranked up the pace to devastating effect, winning in 4:10.236 -- nearly two seconds quicker than the world record they set in the heats.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Olympics

Sarah Hammer's U.S. team had thrown down the gauntlet with a world record of their own in the morning heats only to see Britain respond almost immediately.

And they were no match for Britain in the final as the U.S. wait for a gold in Olympic women's track cycling goes on. Britain won by half a second.

Canada secured only its second Olympic medal in women's track cycling, beating New Zealand for bronze.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, Editing by Susanna Twidale and Alison Williams)

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