Women's Sprint

 

Anna Meares was euphoric in winning the first cycling gold medal for Australia on the last day of competition in the velodrome.  She bettered her silver medal from Beijing by beating the defending Olympic sprint champion, GB’s Victoria Pendleton in two straight races. Shuang Guo, bronze medallist from Beijing, finished in the same position four years on in London, this time her opponent was Germany’s Kristina Vogel, who capitulated in two races as well.

 

Australias Anna Meares shakes hands with GB's Vicky Pendleton

 

Meares has an Olympic title in the 500m TT from Athens, but she said "This is what I've targeted, after bronze (in the sprint) in Athens and silver in Beijing, I wanted to take one step higher. The challenge was a big one, and I didn't know if I would be capable of doing it."

 

Once again, Pendleton found herself amidst controversy on the night.  “Twice in one meeting makes me look like the bad girl of cycling!” she joked with the BBC afterwards, referring to relegation from the Team Sprint competition on the first night of racing and again on the final night.  This time she lost out to Meares who was awarded the first race even though it was judged that Pendleton crossed the line fractionally ahead of Meares.  However, Pendleton came out of the sprinter's lane, bumping elbows with Meares as they came into the finished straight and she was relegated.  Round one to Meares.

 

Australia's Anna Meares makes contact with Vicky Pendleton when she comes out of the sprinters lane

 

The decision boosted Meares confidence and she came out with a plan for match two and that plan was simple, force Pendleton to the front, making her to lead out and then jump past her in the home straight.

 

Using her substantial bike handling skills Meares slowed almost to a track stand and Pendleton eventually rolled past her.  For a moment it looked like she might take a flyer and Meares appeared unprepared for that, but as Pendleton checked her speed, Meares closed and this time there was no need for photo finish to separate them, as the Australian won by some margin.

 

A very tearful Pendleton, saluted the crowd and bowed out of international competition.  "I'm just so relieved and I'm overwhelmed with emotion. I would have loved to have won on my final race. I'm glad that it's all done and I can move on.”  She told the BBC.  "I'm glad that it was me and Anna Meares in the final, it was the way it should been. She was a fantastic competitor. But I'm very glad that that's the last time I will be doing that.”

 

Of the controversial decision, she said "I was really annoyed because I was sure that she touched me and it caused me to move up… It did knock my confidence a bit, I have to say. I really tried in that last ride."

 

In the race for the bronze medal, Shuang Guo proved much stronger than Kristina Vogel and the medal never looked in doubt.

 

Results

Semi-final - Heat 1: Race 1
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) 0:00:11.481  
2 Kristina Vogel (Germany)    
Semi-final - Heat 1: Race 2
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) 0:00:11.538  
2 Kristina Vogel (Germany)    
Semi-final - Heat 2: Race 1
1 Anna Meares (Australia) 0:00:11.683  
2 Guo Shuang (People's Republic of China)    
Semi-final - Heat 2: Race 2
1 Anna Meares (Australia) 0:00:11.284  
2 Guo Shuang (People's Republic of China)    

 

Gold Medal Round: Race 1

1 Anna Meares (Australia)    
2 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) REL  
Gold Medal Round: Race 2
1 Anna Meares (Australia) 0:00:11.348  
2 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)    

 

Bronze Medal Round: Race 1

3 Guo Shuang (People's Republic of China) 0:00:11.532  
4 Kristina Vogel (Germany)    
Bronze Medal Round: Race 2
3 Guo Shuang (People's Republic of China) 0:00:11.591  
4 Kristina Vogel (Germany)

 

 

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