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Three-peat for Meares and McCulloch

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Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares sing Advance Australia Fair as the Australian flag is raised

Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares sing Advance Australia Fair as the Australian flag is raised
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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McCulloch hits the front as Australia win gold in the women's team sprint.

McCulloch hits the front as Australia win gold in the women's team sprint.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Meares leads out in the team sprint final.

Meares leads out in the team sprint final.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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McCulloch and Meares happy with the gold medal.

McCulloch and Meares happy with the gold medal.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Australian duo Anna Meares (back) and Kaarle McCulloch are pictured at the start of the team sprint

Australian duo Anna Meares (back) and Kaarle McCulloch are pictured at the start of the team sprint
(Image credit: AFP)

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
1Australia0:00:33.237
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
4France0:00:33.731
Clara Sanchez
Sandie Clair

Qualifying

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Australia0:00:33.342
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
4France0:00:33.601
Clara Sanchez
Sandie Clair
5Germany0:00:33.618
Miriam Welte
Kristina Vogel
6Lithuania0:00:33.788
Gintare Gaivenyte
Simona Krupeckaite
7Netherlands0:00:34.151
Yvonne Hijgenaar
Willy Kanis
8Ukraine0:00:34.373
Iryna Papezhuk
Lyubov Shulika
9Russian Federation0:00:34.521
Viktoria Baranova
Olga Streltsova
10Spain0:00:34.909
Helena Casas Roige
Tania Calvo Barbero
11Colombia0:00:35.242
Juliana Gaviria Rendon
Diana Maria Garcia Orrego
12Hong Kong, China0:00:36.033
Wai Sze Lee
Zhao Juan Meng
13Greece0:00:36.087
Angeliki Koutsonikoli
Dimitra Patapi
14Korea0:00:36.216
Won Gyeong Kim
Eunmi Park
15Japan0:00:36.796
Ryoko Nakagawa
Kanako Kase

 

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