Posted: Thursday August 2, 2012 7:42 AM

NZealand wins Olympic gold in men's double sculls

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WINDSOR, England (AP) - Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan added an Olympic gold medal to their two world titles Thursday by winning the double sculls final at Dorney Lake. It was New Zealand's first gold of the London Games.

Cohen and Sullivan, who broke the Olympic-best time in the heats, produced a late surge to overtake Italy with about 200 meters left. They won in 6 minutes, 31.67 seconds under threatening skies.

The Italians, a half length behind, captured the silver medal. Slovenia won the bronze, having led for much of the race.

The race was without the defending champions from Australia, David Crawshay and Scott Brennan, and the favored German crew of Hans Gruhne and Stephan Kruger. Both boats were eliminated in the semifinals, leaving the field open for the day's first final.

The Slovenian boat of former Olympic champions Luka Spik and Iztok Cop charged into an early lead and were two seconds ahead of of Argentina by the halfway mark, with a stroke rate as quick as anybody else's in the race.

Italy's Alessio Sartori and Romano Battisti, who reached these Olympics by winning the final qualification regatta, then moved past Slovenia with 550 meters to go but couldn't hold off the Kiwis.

Cohen and Sullivan won by 1.13 seconds from the Italians, with Spik and Cop 1.55 seconds further back. Argentina was fourth.

 
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