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World Sport

Ulmer claims cycling pursuit gold


ATHENS, Greece -- Sarah Ulmer of New Zealand lowered her own world record in the women's cycling 3000 meter individual pursuit at the Athens Olympic Games to claim the gold medal.

In an exciting final, Ulmer beat Australian Katie Mactier with a display of awesome power and speed.

Ulmer clocked three minutes 24.537 seconds to beat the previous record of 3:26.400 she set on Saturday.

Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel of the Netherlands took the bronze in her last Olympic race, retiring from the games as the most successful cyclist in history with four gold, one silver and a bronze.

Ulmer's win marks the first cycling gold for New Zealand and only their second medal at the Athens Games.

In the sprints, Olympic time trial champion Anna Meares of Australia easily qualified for the quarterfinals Sunday, keeping alive her hopes of adding a second gold medal.

Meares, 20, was already coasting when she crossed the finish line to beat Evgenia Radanova of Bulgaria, a two-time short-track medalist at the 2002 Winter games and a world record holder over the 500 meters.

Double world champion Svetlana Grankovskaya of Russia only reached the quarterfinal through the repechage.

Sprint medal races are Tuesday at the Olympic Velodrome.

In the men's competition, Ryan Bayley of Australia and world champion Theo Bos of the Netherlands both advanced easily.

Double Olympic sprint champion Jens Fiedler pulled out of the event at the last minute after helping Germany win the team sprint event on Saturday. With three golds overall, he will center his last Olympic effort on Wednesday's Keirin race.


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