A little less than two years away from the Olympic Games in Rio, Anna Meares believes she is in the best form she has been in since the London Games in 2012. The Australian sprint star is in Mexico for the opening round of the Track World Cup in Guadalajara, where she’s targeting crucial qualification points for Rio 2016.
“The Oceania Championships saw me able to be sharper in making decisions on the track and trusting my physical preparation more than I have since my return from London and this is very exciting for me and my coaching/support team,” she wrote in her blog on her personal website.
Meares took an elongated break after London 2012 to decide her future in cycling. She returned to World Cup racing for the 2013-14 season and became the first woman to go under 33 seconds in the 500-metre time trial event, which was held in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Last month, Meares took second place in the individual sprint and the keirin at the Oceania champions in Adelaide, being pipped by up and coming star Stephanie Morton on both occasions. The two have been developing a friendly rivalry of late, after Morton also beat her in the sprint at the Commonwealth Games in July. Rumours of her retirement cropped up after she was beaten by Morton, but Meares dismissed them stating that she was determined to make it to Rio.
While she was beaten by Morton again in Adelaide, Meares is confident that she can continue to get better as the season progresses. “The most important thing is that my racing at the Oceania’s was better than Glasgow in July, Glasgow was better than Worlds in February, Worlds was better than Nationals in January and this is the trend we believe will continue.”
The opening round of the UCI Track World Cup begins this Saturday November 8 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Meares will line up in the sprint category alongside Morton and Olympic teammate Kaarle McCulloch.