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Women's Basketball: Australia Wins Gold Medal at World Championships


Australia has defeated surprise finalist Russia 91-74 to win the gold medal at the women's world basketball championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Appearing in its first-ever world title match Saturday, Australia was led by 28 points from Penelope Taylor and 16 from Lauren Jackson. The gold medalists, who had never placed higher than third at the quadrennial event, also hit nine three-point shots. Maria Stepanova was Russia's top scorer with 17 points.

On Thursday, Russia stunned the two-time defending champion United States 75-68 to advance to the championship game. The defeat ended the Americans' world championship winning streak, which dated back to the 1994 bronze-medal game, at 26. It also snapped Team USA's string of victories at the Olympics and worlds at 51.

Earlier the United States defeated host-Brazil 99-59 to win the bronze medal. Diana Taurasi led the United States with 28 points, while Tina Thompson added 15.