By Greg Johnson
Australian track sprinter Anna Meares is hoping the women's 500 metre time trial will return for the London Olympic Games in 2012. Meares, who claimed gold at the event's last Olympic appearance in Athens five years ago, will focus on the event at this year's UCI Track World Championships.
"I'm actually hopeful the women's 500 will come back for London. If that comes back that would be…I can tell you right now," said Meares, unable to contain her excitement over the idea. "God a couple of years ago when I was hopeful it would come back I said to [husband] Mark – because I was actually looking at retiring after Beijing – I said if that 500 comes back, I will stay for London."
While Meares has since decided to continue her career through London regardless of the event's return, her desire to see it back on the Olympic schedule is hard to miss. In addition to her Olympic gold, Meares has claimed two 500 metre time trial UCI Track World Championships and numerous titles at Oceania and national level.
"What keeps me motivated is seeing what I'm capable of, seeing if I can keep raising that benchmark," said Meares. "And the competition – I love a challenge, love competition. You go to a competition like World Championships every year and you drag yourself through a full year of training and you get to the World Championships and you feel invincible."
Meares' worlds campaign will start in Pruszkow today in the 500 metre time trial event. She will then contest team sprint event on Thursday with Kaarle McCulloch.