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Australia retains Olympic men's pair rowing title
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18:13, August 16, 2008

Drew Ginn and Duncan Free of Autralia compete during men's Pair Final A of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games rowing event at Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. Drew Ginn and Duncan Free won the gold medal of the event. (Xinhua Photo)

Australia won the men's pair Olympic rowing title on Saturday, earning the third Olympic gold medal for Drew Ginn.

The two-time world champions Drew Ginn and Duncan Free won in 6 minutes 37.44 seconds, 2.11 seconds ahead of David Calder and Scott Frandsen of Canada.

Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater took bronze in 6:44.19. The team won the world title in 2005 and settled for two silvers in 2006 and 2007.

Ginn, 34, successfully defended the title he won with three-time Olympic gold medalist James Tomkins in Athens. He was also among the "Awesome Foursome" that won gold in the coxless four in Atlanta.

The crew were in second place by the 1000m, but they made a late charge to pass Canadian rowers and maintained the lead till the finish line.

"We wanted to have our best race, to get a silver we are both satisfied," said Scott shortly after the race. "It was clear they (Australians) were on top for most of it but we too had a great race."

But a bronze medal was clearly an disappointment for the New Zealand crew.

"It's not the color we wanted, but it just goes to show how difficult Olympic competition is," said Twaddle in a low mood.

"The Australians just proved impossible to catch. It's disappointing for us," Bridgewater said.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 27 12 6 45
2 USA 16 15 19 50
3 Germany 8 4 5 17
4 South Korea 6 9 3 18
5 Italy 6 5 4 15
6 Japan 6 4 4 14
7 Australia 5 7 10 22
8 Russia 4 4 8 20
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