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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK

Aussies cycle to gold

By John Haughey
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

Australia took gold in the men's team sprint at the Commonwealth Games.

They beat England in the final, leaving the hosts with the silver medal.

The key to the victory was Sean Eadie's blistering first lap which was almost half-a-second quicker than Andy Slater's circuit.

Jamie Staff and Olympic gold medallist Jason Queally did reduce Australia's lead over the closing two laps but the winners still had .27 in hand at the finish.

Australia's time of 44.506 was a track record for the National Cycling Centre.

England clocked 44.772.

"We got our act together tonight"
Aussie cyclist Sean Eadie

The victory meant Australia had picked up eight of the 11 golds available at the Manchester velodrome.

Scotland (44.934) produced a solid run to comfortably beat New Zealand for the bronze in the third and fourth place race.

English star Queally said he was disappointed not to have picked up gold after his earlier silver in his individual event.

"But we were very fortunate to beat the Scots actually as we were under quite a bit of pressure from them," he added.

Australian lead-off man Sean Eadie said the winners had worked well as a team.

"There was a hiccup this morning but we ironed it out and got our act together tonight," said Eadie.

Fastest qualifiers

Australia and England had earlier held their nerve to qualify for the final after Scotland had produced a fine time to put them under pressure.

Boosted by the inclusion of Craig McLean, who had missed the morning heats, Scotland produced a superb second round time of 44.994.

However, the Australians, who in Ryan Bayley, Jobie Dajka and Sean Eadie had all three medals from the individual event, held their nerve to clock 44.703.

England then knocked Scotland out of the gold medal race by clocking a time of 44.710 - .007 outside Australia's lead time but good enough to earn a place in the final.

The English team had been the fastest qualifiers in the morning first round heats.

New Zealand (46.193) edged out Canada (46.694) to earn the bronze medal race against the Scots.

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