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Commonwealth Games 2006

Melbourne - Track Competition

Day 1 - 500m TT

Games Website

Anna Meares wins first cycling gold of the Games for Australia in the 500m TT

Anna Meares (AUS) rode a gold medal winning ride in 34.326 setting a new Commonwealth Games record, ahead of Victoria Pendleton (ENG) and Kerrie Meares (AUS). 

With Meares standing as a World and Olympic Champion, World Record holder and now Commonwealth Games Gold medalist and games record holder Anna Meares said “ I was inspired to win by the attendance of my parents at the event”. Meares flashed to victory in the women's 500m time trial, showing all the class of a champion. 

This is Anna’s first gold medal at a Commonwealth Games, after winning bronze in the Sprint and fourth place in the time trial at Manchester in 2002. Both Meares sisters soaked up the support of their overjoyed parents, watching them race for the first time at a major meeting. The elder of the two, and room-mate sister Kerrie making it a near-perfect family affair by taking the bronze medal. 

 

Result

Place

Name

 

Country 

Splits

Speed

 

250m

500m

1

Anna Meares

AUS

  19.355

34.326

52.438

Games Record

2

Victoria Pendleton

ENG

  19.576

34.662

51.930

 

3

Kerrie Meares

AUS

  19.750

35.210

51.121

 

4

Fiona Carswell

NZL

  20.222

35.635

50.512

 

5

Elizabeth Williams

NZL

  20.451

36.104

49.855

 

 

After her win Anna chatted to the eager reporters; "We had the most important people in our lives cheering us on, and that's what made it such a sweet  victory," said Meares, who broke her big sister's Games record in the process. "Man, I'm so, so happy with that." She added.

The triumph was a testament to the fighting spirit of Meares, whose doctors told her as recently as seven months ago that a back injury would prevent her from racing in Melbourne.

Anna’s ride was tough and was a repeat of what she had experienced in Athens; beat a record breaking time to take Gold. Racing last, Anna had to beat England's Victoria Pendleton's new Commonwealth Games record of 34:662 that she set in her ride to clinch the gold.

The realisation that she had taken Gold and the record, showed on her face as she looked up at the scroreboard,  had tears began running down her face.

Celebrating her win she waved and gave high fives to her family in the cheering crowd. Once she was off the bike, the sisters gave each other hugs and kisses before speaking with reporters.

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Post Race Comments

When told she was the first Australian to pick up gold, Anna Meares was astonished. "Am I? Oh awesome. No, I didn't know that. Oh wow. I'll just stand here with my mouth open and Kerrie can tell you how I feel."

Asked how she felt when Pendleton clocked a new Commonwealth record just before her ride, Anna Meares responded: "I can't really repeat what I thought. “Oh gosh' might be a nice way of putting it. I saw 34:6 come up on the board and (I was) straight back looking at the ground thinking you're here, you do your own race, don't worry about the time. Athens really helped me perform under pressure of these types of situations. This is my second fastest time ever”

When she heard the roar of the crowd after the race, Anna Meares knew she had won but didn't realise her time was so quick. "I knew because the crowd was going pretty wild I'd won and didn't really see the time until I got over the back straight and my mum and dad were leaning so far over the fence and that was when I caught a glimpse of 34:3 and I was so, so happy with that. I feel bad to take the record from her sister but she feel really good as well. I knew it was going to be sensational in the home games. This crowd, have made me so proud and the noise was amazing 

Kerrie was really please with her performance “I am normally really nervous, tonight is the first time in four years that I have been fully in control of my emotions and my mental preparation. Just knowing that my friends and family were here to support me was great 

Chatting at the press conference after the event both sisters were relaxed and pleased with there respective performances. Kerrie was quick to recognised her performance “That’s the fastest I have riden in 4 years”. Asked how Kerrie had help with Anna’s recent back injury given that she (Kerrie) has had a long struggle with her back injury Anna added “seeing what Kerrie went through really helped me, along with the physio”. Asked about the rest of the women’s teams readiness to face the challenges of the games after the challenge of the last 12 months, they both added “It’s great, Alexis Rhodes is rooming next to us and the other female riders are there too. When we see what Alexis has done to be at these games it’s amazing”. Anna added “ I shouldn’t really complain about my back when you see what Alexis when through” Kerrie chipped in “ Yes, a bulging disk is tough in our sport but Alexis has come back after breaking 32 bones, she’s inspiring 

Asked how they will celebrate the sisters added “with a hot chocolate, ice cream and a massage back at the athletes village later tonight 

Victoria Pendleton chatted after her ride. “I went faster than I thought I would go, the first quarter was quick than I had been going in training. I take the positives from every experience, the sprint is my focus for this event and the Worlds”. Asked how difficult is it to come out of the Worlds as champion in one event to do a best performance in a 500.  It was tough to come up against Anna. This is the closest I have been to Anna in times so it looks good for the sprint on Saturday”.

 

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Photos    Click on any image to enlarge >>

IMG_7225 IMG_7269 IMG_7460 IMG_7636 IMG_7654

 

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