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Meares prevails in gold medal final

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Anna Meares (Australia) claims an emotional individual sprint world title over Simona Krupeckaitė (Lithuania)

Anna Meares (Australia) claims an emotional individual sprint world title over Simona Krupeckaitė (Lithuania)
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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All smiles on the sprint podium as Pendleton cracks a joke

All smiles on the sprint podium as Pendleton cracks a joke
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Meares laps up the applause on the podium

Meares laps up the applause on the podium
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Laughter and tears for Meares on the podium

Laughter and tears for Meares on the podium
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Meares makes it 2-0 against Krupeckaite to win the gold medal in the women

Meares makes it 2-0 against Krupeckaite to win the gold medal in the women
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Pendleton beats Panarina to win the bronze medal in the women

Pendleton beats Panarina to win the bronze medal in the women
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Wise words from British coach Shane Sutton to defending sprint world champion Victoria Pendleton.

Wise words from British coach Shane Sutton to defending sprint world champion Victoria Pendleton.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Anna Meares beats Victoria Pendleton in the semi-final to move onto the gold medal final

Anna Meares beats Victoria Pendleton in the semi-final to move onto the gold medal final
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Kristina Vogel (Germany) wins through to via the repechage

Kristina Vogel (Germany) wins through to via the repechage
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Eunmi Park (Korea) is first off in women¹s sprint qualification.

Eunmi Park (Korea) is first off in women¹s sprint qualification.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)

After ten years of trying, Australian Anna Meares finally claimed the elusive individual sprint world title to add to her three in the team sprint and her three world and one Olympic title in the 500m time trial.

Meares topped Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite in two races in the gold medal final, while Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton dispatched the recently-crowned 500m world champion Olga Panarina (Belarus) to take the bronze.

Meares's seventh rainbow jersey is the sweetest by far since she's worked years to transform herself from a 500m specialist to the world's top match sprinter.

"In 10 years in the senior ranks, I've been a silver medalist, been a bronze medalist, been fourth, been not even in the picture on occasion. I've just worked so hard. I'm so proud of my coach and the team - they've stood behind me and backed me the whole way. We've worked on every little aspect we possibly could to make this happen tonight and it makes me feel good to make it happen."

In addition to all the hard work, Meares had to finally give up on the event in which she made her name, the 500, in order to make that final step, making her 2010 title her last. "It was a difficult decision I had to make. I made it after last year when I saw the two finalists in the individual sprint didn't ride the 500, and the two who did were racing for bronze.

"I can't give away a full day of warm up, warm down and competition to riders like Vicky Pendleton and Shuang Guo."

Focused and sharp for the individual sprint, the sacrifice paid off in spades with an emotional first world title in the event. Meares clearly enjoying the experience didn't want to talk about the next Olympic Games just yet. "I'm going to give myself a chance to take this in. I've never done it before. I don't want to just take this off and set it aside just yet. I want to let it soak in."

Meares faced the daunting challenge of meeting five-time sprint world champion and Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton not in the final, where predictions might have placed them, but in the semi-final round.

The Australian had to pull out all the stops to make it into the gold medal round. "I looked at that race as if it was my final," said Meares. "I tried to bring out everything possible to beat her (Pendleton).

Meares looked dominant in the first race of the semifinal round, coming over Pendleton out of turn two and then powering ahead to the line to win by a length.

In the second race, however, Pendleton rallied back when Meares hesitated, and the Briton forced a tension-filled third and deciding race.

Drawing the less desirable first position, Meares tried to force Pendleton to the fore by coming to a near stand-still on the banking. The adrenaline was so high, Meares said she was literally shaking in her shoes.

"I was so nervous - my foot was shaking on the pedal and I couldn't steady the stance. On the fourth attempt I finally got her to take the front. It's always nerve wrecking doing a standstill in front of a crowd like this, but with so much hinging on that race it was a case of do or die. I knew that I wanted to be riding from the back, and yeah, it worked."

She forced Pendleton to lead through before going down track and pushing Pendleton up the banking. It allowed Meares just the jump she needed to gain an advantage in the dash to the line and send Pendleton packing.

"I like that tactic and I don't get to play it too much these days. A lot of people are very wary of my right hand side at the fence and I was surprised I got the opportunity to put Vicky there, she doesn't often allow that to happen," Meares said. "I took the chance, I took the risk and it paid off."

Meares then had to face her old foe, Krupeckaite, who is just one year older and has two world records, including the 500, which she also abandoned in favour of the Olympic events.

"[Simona has an] incredible reputation, being a world record holder over both 200 and 500 metres. I do have an understanding of what it's like of going that fast in a 500 - I'm about 0.1 off her best time in the 500 - so I knew this was going to be difficult. But I also knew what kind of tactics to play against her."

Meares put in a clean and commanding first race to take the advantage, but in the second round said she had to get forceful in order to earn the gold medal.

"I got myself a little caught up in the final in the second race. I had to get physical to create a path to get to the bottom of the track, and yes, I did.

Four time sprint world champion Victoria Pendleton claimed the bronze in two races against newcomer Olga Panarina of Belarus, but looked back at the semifinal round as the moment of the night

"When it gets to the semifinal, you have to beat everyone to win. You have to beat both of the riders left to win. [Anna]'s obviously on the form of her life and it's been a long time coming for her. Credit to her, she's put a lot of effort into dedicating herself and putting a lot of time in for the sprints.

"The sprints are all about making the least mistakes possible. You can't have a perfect performance - it's too much to ask. It was a good challenge. We've met each other a lot of the time in competition over the years. The balance has to swing sometimes or people wouldn't bother watching, would they?"

Pendleton recalled the third-race standstill against Meares and said, "I thought she was flaking out on two occasions. I should have been a bit more patient. I should have been a bit more cautious. You make a decision, sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong you just have to go for it."

Final

Gold medal final - race 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)11.984
2Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)11.453

Gold medal final - race 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)11.984
2Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)11.453

Bronze medal final - race 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
3Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)11.682
4Olga Panarina (Belarus)

Bronze medal final - race 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
3Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)11.682
4Olga Panarina (Belarus)

Final standings

#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Anna Meares (Australia)
2Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)
3Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)
4Olga Panarina (Belarus)
5Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)
6Sandie Clair (France)
7Kristina Vogel (Germany)
8Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)
9Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)
10Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)
11Jessica Varnish (Great Britain)
12Virginie Cueff (France)
13Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)
14Lin Junhong (People'S Republic of China)
15Monique Sullivan (Canada)
16Jinjie Gong (People'S Republic of China)
17Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)
18Emily Rosemond (Australia)
19Viktoria Baranova (Russian Federation)
20Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)
21Miriam Welte (Germany)
22Gintare Gaivenyte (Lithuania)
23Won Gyeong Kim (Korea)
24Eunmi Park (Korea)
25Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia)
26Juliana Gaviria Rendon (Colombia)
27Zhao Juan Meng (Hong Kong, China)

Semifinal

Semifinal heat 1 - race 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olga Panarina (Belarus)12.203
2Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)

Semifinal heat 1 - race 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)11.384
2Olga Panarina (Belarus)

Semifinal heat 1 - race 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)12.526
2Olga Panarina (Belarus)

Semifinal heat 2 - race 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)11.552
2Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)

Semifinal heat 2 - race 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)0:00:11.338
2Anna Meares (Australia)

Semifinal heat 2 - race 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)11.473
2Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)

Women's sprint 5th-8th final

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
5Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)11.633
6Sandie Clair (France)
7Kristina Vogel (Germany)
8Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)

Women's sprint quarterfinal

Women's sprint quarterfinal - heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olga Panarina (Belarus)11.671
2Sandie Clair (France)

Women's sprint quarterfinal - heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)0:00:11.776
2Kristina Vogel (Germany)

Women's sprint quarterfinal - heat 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)11.542
2Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)

Women's sprint quarterfinal - heat 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)11.762
2Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)11.946

Women's sprint 1/8 final

Women's sprint 1/8 final - heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olga Panarina (Belarus)11.923
2Virginie Cueff (France)

Women's sprint 1/8 final - heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)11.736
2Jessica Varnish (Great Britain)

Women's sprint 1/8 final - heat 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)0:00:11.896
2Sandie Clair (France)

Women's sprint 1/8 final - heat 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)11.790
2Kristina Vogel (Germany)

Women's sprint 1/8 final - heat 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)12.001
2Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)

Women's sprint 1/8 final - heat 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)11.542
2Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)

Women's sprint 1/8 final repechage - heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristina Vogel (Germany)12.068
2Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)
3Virginie Cueff (France)

Women's sprint 1/8 final repechage - heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sandie Clair (France)12.389
2Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)
3Jessica Varnish (Great Britain)

Women's sprint 1/16 final

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olga Panarina (Belarus)12.465
2Eunmi Park (Korea)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Meares (Australia)12.203
2Won Gyeong Kim (Korea)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)13.362
2Gintare Gaivenyte (Lithuania)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)11.966
2Miriam Welte (Germany)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)11.882
2Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)11.671
2Viktoria Baranova (Russian Federation)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)11.874
2Emily Rosemond (Australia)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)11.970
2Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 9
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristina Vogel (Germany)11.700
2Jinjie Gong (People'S Republic of China)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sandie Clair (France)11.699
2Monique Sullivan (Canada)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 11
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jessica Varnish (Great Britain)11.862
2Lin Junhong (People'S Republic of China)

Women's sprint 1/16 final - heat 12
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Virginie Cueff (France)12.088
2Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)

200m TT qualifying

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olga Panarina (Belarus)0:00:11.120
2Anna Meares (Australia)
3Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)11.152
4Shuang Guo (People'S Republic of China)11.188
5Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)11.291
6Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)11.299
7Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)11.365
8Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)11.368
9Kristina Vogel (Germany)11.387
10Sandie Clair (France)11.398
11Jessica Varnish (Great Britain)11.401
12Virginie Cueff (France)11.424
13Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)11.456
14Lin Junhong (People'S Republic of China)11.494
15Monique Sullivan (Canada)11.502
16Jinjie Gong (People'S Republic of China)11.514
17Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)11.522
18Emily Rosemond (Australia)11.546
19Viktoria Baranova (Russian Federation)11.563
20Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)11.594
21Miriam Welte (Germany)11.733
22Gintare Gaivenyte (Lithuania)11.736
23Won Gyeong Kim (Korea)11.748
24Eunmi Park (Korea)12.022
25Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia)12.125
26Juliana Gaviria Rendon (Colombia)12.217
27Zhao Juan Meng (Hong Kong, China)12.377
DNSWilly Kanis (Netherlands)

 

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