US beat Australia to take women's Olympic basketball gold

Society Materials 23 August 2008 21:18 (UTC +04:00)

The United States defeated Australia 92- 65 in the final of women's basketball competition on Saturday to win its fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.

The US women proved too strong for their rivals in a re-run of the Athens final four years ago.

The Americans were up 22-15 after the first quarter and increased their lead to 47-30 at the half-way stage of the game.

The US moved ahead 69-54, but the Australians were able to manage only 11 points in the final quarter to the US's 23 as the Americans ran out 92-65 winners.

It was the fourth Olympic crown in a row for the Americans after Athens, Sydney 2000 and Atlanta in 1996.

Earlier, Russia edged host nation China 94- 81 in the bronze medal match.

US-born Becky Hammon, who plays in Moscow and chose to compete for Russia shortly before the Games started, contributed a team-high 22 points and four assists.

Russia trailed 24- 23 in the first quarter but went into the main break 52-39 thanks to 11 points from playmaker Hammon.

China managed to narrow the margin to 11 points in the second half, but found themselves unable to block the sharp Russian offence and bowed out 94-81, the dpa reported.