Ruthless Meares regains Australian sprint crown

Dennis, Hepburn face off in 4000m pursuit

Anna Meares was forced to show her ruthless streak at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney to reclaim her grip on the Australian women's sprint title, a title the 27-year-old hasn't won since 2009.

With Friday’s win over New South Wales' Kaarle McCulloch, Meares has now won gold in the women's sprint five times, having previously won in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009.

Given that Meares and McCulloch are world champions in the team sprint and train together in Adelaide, the final was always going to be a close one. Both cruised through qualifying and the semi finals. When it came to the gold medal showdown, only half a wheel separated them, with Meares ensuring there was no need for a third and final race.

"It was always going to be tough against Kaarle and it's always been in the past but that's what makes it fun for me," Meares explained after her win. "I like a challenge and it's my first national title as a South Australian representative as well so that's very special."

A smiling Meares said that letting McCulloch win was simply not an option.

"There's only been one spot at the Olympics and I've filled that in the past two occasions and I know that I've been what stopped her trying to achieve her goal of going to the Olympics," she said.

"As much as I feel for her when I'm off the track, I can't feel that way when I'm on the track otherwise I'm going to be the one that's losing the races and the shoe's on the other foot. So I'm always as aggressive as possible on the track and I'm always aware of what it feels like to get beat. I've had the pleasure of being number one for a while aside from last year when Kaarle won.”

"I remember when I was coming up and I got beat every race. Michelle Ferris beat me by 50m in one race, Lyndelle Higginson schooled me, Kerrie schooled me - that's the sort of thing that makes you a bit tougher in the long run. I'm hoping that I'm pissing Kaarle off because by the time I retire she's going to be one hard girl to beat."

McCulloch meanwhile was resigned to Meares' current superiority.

"I think I have got to the stage now that I am racing against the best rider in the world who is at the peak of her career, and I am five years away from my peak," she said.

"I got beaten by half a wheel length in both the races today but in a couple more years time, when I get a little bit more strength in my legs, I have no doubt that I could beat Anna. But at the moment, it is not just quite there."

Dennis, Hepburn face off in 4000m pursuit

The final of the men's 4000m team pursuit between a South Australian team featuring world champion Rohan Dennis, and Queensland featuring another member of Australia's world champion team, Michael Hepburn, proved interstate rivalry was alive and well.

Dennis, joined by Alexander Edmondson, Damien Howson and Glenn O'Shea were dominant from the outset of the showdown and were spurred on by their opponent jibes and took the gold in a time of 4:02.389.

"We knew we had to lift," explained Dennis. "Queensland was giving us a bit of stick and a bit of smack talk. We were pretty confident we knew we had to go out faster. I bumped my gear up so I could do a little bit of extra work to help the guys across the line."

With two world champions in the mix, who knew each other's skills back-to-front, extra pressure was on Dennis to ensure his team went home with the title for the second year running.

"I knew he'd [Hepburn]be pretty keen to win the jersey this year and his form is pretty good every year in the team's pursuit so I was a little bit worried before the heats about what sort of turns he'd be pulling." Dennis admitted. "We didn't want to give it up to the Queenslanders – ever really."

In the men's 15km scratch race, New South Wales' Scott Law made a mad dash two laps out from the finish to put an end to West Australian Luke Dubridge's hopes of a maiden gold medal at the 2011 national titles. Western Australia's Stephen Hall claimed silver while South Australia's Glenn O'Shea took bronze.

There was drama in the men's under 19 sprint when Victoria's Luke Parker and the ACT's Nathan Hart collided on turn one in the first heat of their final. Both went down hard, Hart was up straight away, but Parker seemingly okay but took a little longer to recover after a bit of blood was spilt.

Fastest qualifier Hart took the win in a re-started first heat before Parker took the second in a drag race. Hart then pulled out of the decider with cramps giving Parker the overall win.

Victoria's Adele Sylvester claimed the sprint double with her win in the women’s under 19 sprint over Western Australia's Allee Proud, having taken out the 500m time trial on Thursday night.

In the Para kilometre tandem finals, South Australia's Felicity Johnson and pilot Stephanie Morton (1:09.999) set a new Australian record in their gold medal ride and made it back-to-back Australian titles in the event.

Queensland's Paralympic bronze medallist Bryce Lindores and pilot Victoria's Sean Finning (1:06:325) were streaks ahead of their opposition to claim the gold medal in the men's event.
 

Women Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 1 Ride 1
1Anna Meares (SA)0:00:12.150 
2Holly Williams (WA)  
Women Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 1 Ride 2
1Anna Meares (SA)0:00:12.389 
2Holly Williams (WA)  
Women Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 2 Ride 1
1Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)0:00:12.450 
2Catherine Culvenor (ACT)  
Women Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 2 Ride 2
1Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)0:00:13.031 
2Catherine Culvenor (ACT)  
Women Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Ride 1
1Stephanie Morton (SA)0:00:12.348 
2Apryl Eppinger (PHI)  
Women Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Ride 2
1Stephanie Morton (SA)0:00:12.279 
2Apryl Eppinger (PHI1)  
Women Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 4 Ride 1
1Cassandra Kell (NSW)  
DNSEmily Rosemond (QLD)  
Women Sprint 5th - 8th
1Apryl Eppinger (PHI)0:00:12.130 
2Holly Williams (WA)  
3Catherine Culvenor (ACT)  
Women Sprint Semi Finals Heat 1 Race 1
1Anna Meares (SA)0:00:12.032 
2Cassandra Kell (NSW)  
Women Sprint Semi Finals Heat 1 Race 2
1Anna Meares (SA)0:00:11.990 
2Cassandra Kell (NSW)  
Women Sprint Semi Finals Heat 2 Race 1
1Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)0:00:13.053 
2Stephanie Morton (SA)  
Women Sprint Semi Finals Heat 2 Race 2
1Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)0:00:13.199 
2Stephanie Morton (SA)  
Women Sprint Finals 1-2 Race 1
1Anna Meares (SA)0:00:12.057 
2Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)  
Women Sprint Finals 1-2 Race 2
1Anna Meares (SA)0:00:11.873 
2Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)  
Women Sprint Finals 3-4 Race 1
1Cassandra Kell (NSW)0:00:12.383 
2Stephanie Morton (SA)  
Women Sprint Finals 3-4 Race 2
1Cassandra Kell (NSW)0:00:12.458 
2Stephanie Morton (SA)  
Women Sprint Final Result
1Anna Meares (SA)  
2Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)  
3Cassandra Kell (NSW)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 1 Race 1
1Nathan Hart (ACT)0:00:11.503 
2Emerson Harwood (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 1 Race 2
1Nathan Hart (ACT)0:00:11.832 
2Emerson Harwood (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 2 Race 1
1Timothy Mcmillan (NSW)0:00:11.283 
2Jacob Schmid (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 2 Race 2
1Timothy Mcmillan (NSW)0:00:11.097 
2Jacob Schmid (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Race 1
1Luke Parker (VIC)0:00:11.535 
2Luke Zaccaria (WA)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Race 2
1Luke Zaccaria (WA)0:00:10.954 
2Luke Parker (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Race 3
1Luke Parker (VIC)0:00:11.236 
2Luke Zaccaria (WA)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 4 Race 1
1Jaron Gardiner (VIC)0:00:11.760 
2Ben Young (NSW)  
Men U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 4 Race 2
1Jaron Gardiner (VIC)0:00:11.178 
2Ben Young (NSW)  
Men U19 Sprint 5th - 8th
1Jacob Schmid (VIC)0:00:11.200 
2Emerson Harwood (VIC)  
3Luke Zaccaria (WA)  
4Ben Young (NSW)  
Men U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 1 Race 1
1Jaron Gardiner (VIC)0:00:11.280 
2Nathan Hart (ACT)  
Men U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 1 Race 2
1Jaron Gardiner (VIC)0:00:11.654 
2Nathan Hart (ACT)  
Men U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 2 Race 1
1Timothy Mcmillan (NSW)0:00:11.170 
2Luke Parker (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 2 Race 2
1Timothy Mcmillan (NSW)0:00:11.185 
2Luke Parker (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Final 1-2 Ride 1
1Timothy Mcmillan (NSW)0:00:11.012 
2Jaron Gardiner (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Final 1-2 Ride 2
1Timothy Mcmillan (NSW)0:00:10.987 
2Jaron Gardiner (VIC)  
Men U19 Sprint Final 3-4 Ride 1
1Luke Parker (VIC)  
DNSNathan Hart (ACT)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 1 Race 1
1Adele Sylvester (VIC)0:00:12.468 
2Micaela Hogan (NSW)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 1 Race 2
1Adele Sylvester (VIC)0:00:12.517 
2Micaela Hogan (NSW)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 2 Race 1
1Imogen Jelbart (VIC)0:00:13.131 
2Imogen Hines (NSW)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 2 Race 2
1Imogen Jelbart (VIC)0:00:13.267 
2Imogen Hines (NSW)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Race 1
1Rikki Belder (SA)0:00:12.741 
2Allee Proud (WA)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Race 2
1Allee Proud (WA)0:00:13.144 
2Rikki Belder (SA)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 3 Race 3
1Allee Proud (WA)0:00:12.921 
2Rikki Belder (SA)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 4 Race 1
1Caitlin Ward (VIC)0:00:12.544 
2Madison Law (NSW)  
Women U19 Sprint Quarter Finals Heat 4 Race 2
1Caitlin Ward (VIC)0:00:12.612 
2Madison Law (NSW)  
Women U19 Sprint 5th - 8th
1Rikki Belder (SA)0:00:12.710 
2Madison Law (NSW)  
3Imogen Hines (NSW)  
4Micaela Hogan (NSW)  
Women U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 1 Ride 1
1Adele Sylvester (VIC)0:00:12.251 
2Caitlin Ward (VIC)  
Women U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 1 Ride 2
1Adele Sylvester (VIC)0:00:12.515 
2Caitlin Ward (VIC)  
Women U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 2 Ride 1
1Allee Proud (WA)0:00:12.430 
2Imogen Jelbart (VIC)  
Women U19 Sprint Semi Finals Heat 1 Ride 2
1Allee Proud (WA)0:00:12.501 
2Imogen Jelbart (VIC)  
Women U19 Sprint Final 1-2 Ride 1
1Adele Sylvester (VIC)0:00:12.343 
2Allee Proud (WA)  
Women U19 Sprint Final 1-2 Ride 2
1Adele Sylvester (VIC)0:00:12.884 
2Allee Proud (WA)  
Women U19 Sprint Final 3-4 Ride 1
1Imogen Jelbart (VIC)0:00:12.692 
2Caitlin Ward (VIC)  
Women U19 Sprint Final 3-4 Ride 2
1Imogen Jelbart (VIC)0:00:12.585 
2Caitlin Ward (VIC)  
Men 4000m Team Pursuit Qualification
1South Australia0:04:07.000 
 Edward Bissaker  
 Rohan Dennis  
 Damien Howson  
 Glenn O'shea  
2Queensland0:04:08.300 
 Michael Hepburn  
 Jordan Kerby  
 Mitchell Mulhern  
 Nicholas Schultz  
3Western Australia0:04:09.600 
 Luke Durbridge  
 Michael Freiberg  
 Stephen Hall  
 Glenn Harris  
4Victoria0:04:09.900 
 Jack Cummings  
 Evan Hull  
 Alexander Morgan  
 Rick Sanders  
5New South Wales0:04:10.100 
 Jack Beckinsale  
 Caleb Ewan  
 Jackson Law  
 Tirian Mcmanus  
6New South Wales0:04:13.100 
 Aaron Donnelly  
 Benjamin Harvey  
 Scott Law  
 Jackson-Leigh Rathbone  
7Western Australia0:04:14.100 
 Mitchell Benson  
 Trent Derecourt  
 Nicholas Graham-Dawson  
 Bradley Linfield  
8South Australia0:04:17.400 
 Alexander Edmondson  
 Robert-Jon Mccarthy  
 Miles Scotson  
 George Tansley  
9Queensland0:04:17.400 
 David Edwards  
 Brendan Hill  
 Jesse Kerrison  
 Jordan Toyne  
Men 4000m Team Pursuit Finals 1-2
1South Australia0:04:02.400 
 Alexander Edmondson  
 Rohan Dennis  
 Damien Howson  
 Glenn O'shea  
2Qeensland0:04:04.900 
 Michael Hepburn  
 Jordan Kerby  
 Mitchell Mulhern  
 Nicholas Schultz  
Men 4000m Team Pursuit Finals 3-4
1Western Australia0:04:08.300 
 Luke Durbridge  
 Michael Freiberg  
 Stephen Hall  
 Glenn Harris  
2Victoria0:04:11.200 
 Jack Cummings  
 Evan Hull  
 Alexander Morgan  
 Rick Sanders  
Men U19 4000m Team Pursuit Finals
1Victoria0:04:11.175 
 Jack Cummings  
 Evan Hull  
 Alexander Morgan  
 Rick Sanders  
2New South Wales0:04:06.454 
 Jack Beckinsale  
 Caleb Ewan  
 Jackson Law  
 Tirian Mcmanus  
3Western Australia0:04:13.696 
 Mitchell Benson  
 Trent Derecourt  
 Nicholas Graham-Dawson  
 Bradley Linfield  
Men 15Km Scratch Race Final
1Scott Law (NSW)0:17:42 
2Stephen Hall (WA)  
3Glenn O'shea (SA)  
4Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT)  
5Luke Durbridge (WA)  
6Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (NSW)  
DNFBenjamin Harvey (NSW)  
DNFEdward Bissaker (SA)  
DNFDamien Howson (SA)  
DNFAaron Jones (TAS)  
DNFLuke Ockerby (TAS)  
DNFBrent Nelson (VIC)  
DNFMichael Freiberg (WA)  

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