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Fourth straight gold for US women
23 Aug 2008 17:25 BST

The US basketball women overcame a slow start to crush Australia 92-65 to win their fourth successive Olympic gold.

American Lisa Leslie, an ever-present since Athens in 1996, inspired with 14 points, while Kara Lawson top-scored for the US with 15.

Australia, reigning world champions, have now claimed three Olympic silvers in a row - all lost to the US.

Russia had to settle for bronze, after defeating hosts China 94-81, with Becky Hammon scoring 22 points.

Even with their extra training and Penny Taylor returning to the starting line-up after missing the semi-finals with a sprained right ankle, the Australians struggled to contend with the Americans' strength.

On top of Lawson's 15 points, Candace Parker added 14, and Sylvia Fowles scored 13.

Leslie, wining her fourth Olympics gold, said: "It has been a blessing for me to be out on this court.

"I haven't necessarily played great during this tournament. Tonight I got into some foul trouble, as did Diana (Taurasi) and Katie (Smith). But we fought hard and we beat Australia."