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Aussies finally get Beijing gold

Australia's Paralympic cycling squad has claimed three gold medals in two days of track action at the 13th Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. The gold medal haul follows a disappointing Olympic Games haul at last month's event, where Australia only managed a silver medal at the hand of Anna Meares.

Queensland's Chris Scott took Australia's first gold medal at the Games, with the 40 year-old winning the Men's Individual Pursuit Final (Cp 4) just moments before vision impaired Kieran Modra claimed the nation's second gold in the 4000m pursuit with his pilot Tyson Lawrence.

"To be honest I didn't know I had won until I looked over and saw my coach jumping up and down," Scott told The Daily Telegraph. "Knowing it Australia's first gold medal makes it even more special."

Scott, who has cerebral palsy, will retire after this year's Games. He has represented Australia at every Paralympic Games since Atlanta in 1996, taking a total of eight gold medals to date.

Scotland-born Michael Gallagher added to Australia's success on day two, taking the nation's third cycling gold medal of the Paralympic Games in the 4,000 metres men's individual pursuit.

"It's more relief than anything else I think," Gallagher told ABC TV. "It's been a three-year plan to do it and I've finally done it.

"It's pretty amazing. It's happened so fast it hasn't really sunk in yet," he added.

Gallagher has only been cycling for four years, but managed to set a new world record during qualifying for his gold-winning run. The rider's arm was damaged at birth.

Click here for Cyclingnews' coverage of the Paralympic Games.

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