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UPDATED: 12:33, August 21, 2004
Australian wins women's 500m time trial, Chinese Jiang Yonghua silver
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Australian cyclist Anna Meares won women's 500m time trial at Athens Olympics with a time of 33.952 seconds on Friday, beating the world record of 34.000 seconds and ahead of Chinese Jiang Yonghua and Natallia Tsylinskaya of Belarus.

Former world record holder Jiang finished second with 34.112 seconds and Tsylinskaya was third by clocking 34.167 seconds.

"It is fantastic. It is unexpected and unbelievable," said the 21-year-old Australian young rider, who was the last one to start in the discipline where a total of 12 worldwide riders competed.

With 34.342 seconds during her first debut at World Champinships this year, Meares said she also felt wonderful.

"I broke the Olympic but also the world record. It was a great race and a lovely year for me. I thank God, for everything that he gave me." said Meares, who finished second with 34.597 seconds in Aguacalientes, Mexico, second tour of World Cup.

Aged 31, the Chinese silver medallist Jiang Yonghua said Meares was a very fast and very talented girl.

"To lose the record is a pity, but I am satisfied with my ride, " said Jiang, who came to the Olympics for the first time.

Number two at World Championships with 34.675 seconds, she said, "I think I have performed very well today. I was close to my world record, so I did a good job."

"In the history of track cycling, China has earned only one bronze medal. I am very happy to win silver for the first time." Jiang said.

"I feel really great, it is my first Olympic medal and I am very happy. I believe I had a great performance," said Tsylinskaya, who has so far won the 500m time trial champion at World Cup for ten times, and the sprint title at World Cup for eight times.

Tsylinskaya, aged 29, who occupied the first place in the sprint at World Championships in 2000 and 2002, said Meares is a great cyclist and had very good performance.

"She had very good legs and I believe that she deserved the gold," she said.

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