Meares sweeps women's sprint events

Meares, Sanchez breeze through round 1

Anna Meares took home an historic victory in the women's keirin on the final day of the 2011 track world championships in the Apeldoorn velodrome, topping 500m winner Olga Panarina of Belarus and Clara Sanchez of France in a thrilling finale to the week.

The Australian, who claimed an emotional first individual sprint title the previous night, followed up that performance with a second personal first in the keirin.

The victory made the 27-year-old from Queensland the only woman in history to have world championship titles in all four women's sprint disciplines: the team sprint, 500m time trial, keirin and sprint.

"It's far more than I thought I would ever achieve," Meares said. "My career goal since I was 16 was to win a world title in every discipline and oh my goodness, I've done it! I've finished that goal and that dream today."

But as far as placing herself as the only woman to have met that standard, Meares said, "You have to look at it in the sense that women's sprint cycling is very young. We had the days of the great Félicia Ballanger, who only in the latter part of her career had the sprint and the time trial. Before that it was just the sprint.

"I'm privileged to be racing at a time when it's evolving for women, and hopefully before I leave it will be better."

In the morning's first round, Meares seemingly breezed through her heat while her competitors of the previous night, Victoria Pendleton and Simona Krupeckaite, were forced to go through to repechage after finishing third in their respective heats.

Krupeckaite was eliminated in the repechage, while Pendleton failed to make the gold medal final in round two.

"It was a pointed effort to make sure I only had to do one ride this morning," Meares said. "Even though it was a lot harder than I anticipated, I made sure I made it through on the first one so I could rest."

Sanchez flew through her first two rounds of racing, clearly demonstrating that she had fine form. Panarina had to go through to the final the hardest way, through repechage before round two, where she did just enough to make the gold medal round.

Meares placed herself third behind the motor as the pace wound up in the final, letting Cuba's Lisandra Guerra attack as soon as it pulled off.

But disaster nearly struck them all as Guerra crashed when coming back through the bunch. Luckily, Meares, Guo and the rest were able to avoid her.

"I think that crash from Guerra just kind of shattered everyone up a bit," Meares said. "Guo stopped, I stopped, then I saw Clara moving up on the outside, so I moved quicker than Guo and then jumped her and had to hang on for dear life."

Sanchez had enough left in the tank to get past Guo coming into the final turns, but could not draw even with Meares. She made the critical mistake to let her guard down just before the line, and Panarina blasted through to snatch the silver medal away at the line.

"I tried to accelerate in the end but couldn't make it past Anna. I didn't even see Panarina coming," Sanchez said. "Of course I'm disappointed."

Meares credited her previous night's success with having the mental clarity to perform at such a high level again on the final day of racing.

"My coach said this morning, win lose or draw, just go out and have fun. I was relaxed, I had no pressure on me and I really was enjoying myself.

"The sprint win was an emotional release, a huge relief and it's amazing how light you feel in the shoulders when something like that happens. You can go about your business a bit more relaxed and patient."

Round 1

Round 1 - heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristina Vogel (Germany)  
2Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia)  
3Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)  
4Sandie Clair (France)  
5Zhao Juan Meng (Hong Kong, China)  
Round 1 - heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)  
2Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)  
3Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)  
4Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)  
5Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)  
6Aksana Papko (Belarus)  
Round 1 - heat 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)  
2Eunmi Park (Korea)  
3Emily Rosemond (Australia)  
4Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)  
5Olga Panarina (Belarus)  
6Lin Junhong (People's Republic of China)  
Round 1 - heat 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Clara Sanchez (France)  
2Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)  
3Kaarle McCulloch (Australia)  
4Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)  
5Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)  
6Gintare Gaivenyte (Lithuania)  
Round 1 repechage - heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olga Panarina (Belarus)  
2Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)  
3Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)  
4Aksana Papko (Belarus)  
Round 1 repechage - heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)  
2Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)  
3Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)  
Round 1 repechage - heat 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)  
2Gintare Gaivenyte (Lithuania)  
3Zhao Juan Meng (Hong Kong, China)  
4Emily Rosemond (Australia)  
Round 1 repechage - heat 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sandie Clair (France)  
2Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)  
3Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)  
4Lin Junhong (People's Republic of China)  

Round 2

Round 2 - heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Clara Sanchez (France)  
2Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)  
3Olga Panarina (Belarus)  
4Kristina Vogel (Germany)  
5Eunmi Park (Korea)  
6Sandie Clair (France)  
Round 2 - heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)  
2Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)  
3Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia)  
4Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)  
5Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)  
6Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)  

Final 1st-6th

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)  
2Olga Panarina (Belarus)  
3Clara Sanchez (France)  
4Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)  
5Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia)  
6Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)  
Final 7th-12th
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
7Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)  
8Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)  
9Sandie Clair (France)  
10Kristina Vogel (Germany)  
11Eunmi Park (Korea)  
12Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)  

 

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