Britain bags three Paralympic golds, closes in on China

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Britain won three gold medals in track cycling on Wednesday in the Paralympic Games, solidifying its spot behind leader China in the medal standings.

China leads the medal table with 24 gold and 77 overall. Britain has 21 gold and 43 overall, followed by the United States with 15 and 34.

Britain has earned 12 gold medals in cycling, the most of any team. Sarah Storey of Britain won the individual pursuit cycling race for her disability class and American Barbara Buchan won in her class.

Britain's Anthony Kappes, Barney Storey and Ben Demery won the sprint final, and Darren Kenny, Mark Bristow and Jody Cundy took the team sprint.

Of the 12 medal events in swimming, Russia, Britain and the United States each won two gold medals. The other golds went to South Africa, New Zealand, Greece, Ukraine, Canada and Australia.

Meanwhile, German wheelchair basketball player Ahmet Coskun was sent home from the Paralympic Games after failing a pre-games doping test.

German officials said Coskun's urine test on Aug. 23 showed the presence of the banned substance finasteride. The substance is used as a treatment for baldness, but also can mask the use of steroids.

Coskun is the second athlete kicked out of the Paralympics for doping.

Earlier this week, Pakistani powerlifter Naveed Ahmed Butt was banned for two years after testing positive for steroid methandienone metabolites.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-09-10-08 1518EDT