Three-peat for Meares and McCulloch

Great Britain takes silver, China tops France for bronze

The Australian duo of Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch claimed their third consecutive gold medal in the women's team sprint world championships. The team which has dominated the post-Olympic years edged out the British pair, veteran Victoria Pendleton and relative newcomer Jessica Varnish, with a 33.237 to the Brits' 33.525.

In the bronze medal final, China bested France, setting a time just shy of Great Britain's, in a 33.586.

For world record holders Meares and McCulloch, however, the times showed "room for improvement", which they will need to remain ahead of the rapidly improving Varnish, who edged out Pendleton's two-time world champion partner Shanaze Reade for this year's event.

"For us it's a matter of achieving specific goals," said Meares. "There's only one competition that's bigger, and that's the Olympic Games. This is where we're going to be able to try things and make mistakes and learn from them in time to ride personal best times in London."

"Even though we're the best in the world right now, I still see room for improvement - there are 16 months till the Olympics and I can pretty much guarantee we are going to break our record again and we're going to go much faster,” McCulloch said.

"[Having Britain] coming up is more motivation for us. I still feel like Anna and I can go faster in both the first and second lap. That will come through specific training we'll do about eight months out from the Games. Although we did target this event, we haven't targeted it enough yet to see the full potential we can ride."

The British team were equally pleased to put in a solid ride, with Varnish excited to prove her mettle in her first world championships, and Pendleton proud of her young teammate's efforts.

"I was doing 19.2 when we got fourth in the world championships [last year]. To do 18.9 now, I'm really happy with that and I'm just going to keep doing it and keep riding and do my best to be here next year," said Varnish.

Pendleton said she is really pleased with the way her form is coming along just in time. "It felt pretty good out there. The conditions are quite heavy here, there is very high pressure which does make quite a big a difference out there, it's not a fast track. For Jess to go sub-19 [18.992 in qualifying - ed.] that's practically an 18.8 in Manchester. I wouldn't be ambitious to say that and it's a great step forward - I'm really excited for the team sprint!"

Women's team sprint final

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
 Anna Meares  
 Kaarle Mcculloch  
2Great Britain0:00:33.525 
 Victoria Pendleton  
 Jessica Varnish  
3People's Republic of China0:00:33.586 
 Shuang Guo  
 Jinjie Gong  
 Clara Sanchez  
 Sandie Clair  


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
 Anna Meares  
 Kaarle Mcculloch  
2Great Britain0:00:33.356 
 Victoria Pendleton  
 Jessica Varnish  
3People's Republic of China0:00:33.569 
 Lin Junhong  
 Jinjie Gong  
 Clara Sanchez  
 Sandie Clair  
 Miriam Welte  
 Kristina Vogel  
 Gintare Gaivenyte  
 Simona Krupeckaite  
 Yvonne Hijgenaar  
 Willy Kanis  
 Iryna Papezhuk  
 Lyubov Shulika  
9Russian Federation0:00:34.521 
 Viktoria Baranova  
 Olga Streltsova  
 Helena Casas Roige  
 Tania Calvo Barbero  
 Juliana Gaviria Rendon  
 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego  
12Hong Kong, China0:00:36.033 
 Wai Sze Lee  
 Zhao Juan Meng  
 Angeliki Koutsonikoli  
 Dimitra Patapi  
 Won Gyeong Kim  
 Eunmi Park  
 Ryoko Nakagawa  
 Kanako Kase  


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