By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain crushed the United States to win the first ever women's team pursuit gold in the velodrome on Saturday, continuing the hosts' domination of the Olympic track cycling.
The trio of Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King blasted around the polished boards to ear-splitting roars from another capacity crowd, smashing their own world record again with a time of three minutes 14.051 seconds.
Trott, at 20 years and 102 days, became the youngest gold medalist in women's events in cycling track at the Olympic Games, breaking the record of Australia's Anna Mears when she won the 500m time trial at Athens 2004.
Such was their searing pace that at one stage it looked as though the British team, unbeaten in 2012, might even reel in the U.S. trio of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo.
The Americans avoided that humiliation but still finished more than five seconds back in the 12-lap event.
Britain, who had also broken their own world record in the opening round, added the Olympic crown to the world title they already owned and took Britain's tally of golds on the track to four, with more to look forward to.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney joined in the celebrations, leading a stirring rendition of "Hey Jude" that reverberated around the iconic arena in east London.
In the bronze medal match Canada beat Australia.
The team pursuit event is one of four women's events making their debut at the London Velodrome along with the team sprint, keirin and omnium.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman)