World Track Championships 2007
Palma, Majorca, Spain
Anna Meares (AUS) demolished her own 500 metre time trial world record to win Australia's first gold medal at the 2007 Track Cycling World Championships. She took .356 seconds off the 500m time in Palmer providing the Spanish crowds with the first world record on the new track.
set the previous record in November with 33.944 in Sydney, but shaved nearly
a half-second off on the new boards at the Palma velodrome.
mainly Spanish crowd in the sold out Palma Arena cheered her all the way to
the line and gave her a standing ovation as she set the first ever world
record on their new velodrome. Meares was then enveloped in a haze of
celebratory hugs, kisses and media attention with no time to prepare for the
first of the best of three heats to decide the sprint bronze medal against a
demoralised Guerra who had watched the Australian snatch the time trial gold
medal from her grasp.
Right from the start of the programme the tension was on, Britain's Shanaze Reade, who won gold in the team sprint with Victoria Pendleton on the opening day, threw down the gauntlet at the start of the event when she posted a time of 34.633 seconds racing in her first-ever 500m TT and no one could get close until the last four riders, when Simona Krupeckaite (Lituania) set a time of 34.487 seconds. This was immediately beaten by Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (CUBA), who set a time close to the world record 34.015 seconds. The last but one rider to start was Meares and each split time was ahead of the Cuban. The Spanish crowd went crazy. You would have thought it was a Spanish rider on the track. Meares broke the world record in style. The final rider to take the track was Natalia Tsylinskaya (Belerus) who decided to take part in the 500m after missing out on a medal in the sprint, managed a sub 35 second time to win Bronze.
Meares (AUS) had
this immediate reaction to gaining the World Record in a time of 33.588
was a hard day of racing and I felt pretty ordinary and after last year it
was a hard road back. We have the best group in the world and best team in
the world I just can't believe it.
was asked if she thought she could do it?, “I
wasn't sure with the condition of the track but after first teams sprint day
and saw Vicki and Shanaze time I knew the world record would be close and
I'd be chasing a really fast time. [When
I got on the track] I just didn't
even think about it I just went out and went through the motions.”
"I felt really good right from the gun," said the tearful Meares. "Just as this season has progressed, I've gotten better and better. I came to the track after the sprint semi-finals and after two days of racing and I was quite tired," said Meares, "I was seeing double, I said, 'I'm all over the shop. I just raced and it worked. I didn't realise how fast going until I got to the end."
"She was pooped this morning and it was a great concern to me but she's a classy athlete and she showed that," said an overjoyed Martin Barras. "That was special, that was very special. It was tough trying to manage the sprint and the 500 and to chase two rabbits at once which is not the way I usually like to do things," said Barras of the event scheduling that put both finals on in the same session. "But she wanted to do it and she took the gamble and she pulled it off."
a fantastic coach and I really wouldn't be able to have the accolades I have
without him and my sponsors NAB and Homesglen TAFE all of whom have stood
behind me through a really rough time with my injury,"
said the grateful Champion. “The
next 12 months are going to be special; it’s a shame the 500 is not going
to be at the Olympics. That is a real disappointment, although I am biased,
I am a fan of the 500. But the sprint is still there and it is something I
need to work on, to be Olympic champion this time round you have to be
sprint champion and it is the one that has alluded me my whole career so far
so next season it will be a focus on the sprint rather than the time
Meares plans to ride the World
Cup on the new Beijing track in December to get a feel for it and the
stadium prior to the Olympics.
Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba) was happy with her
time but disappointed not to have won gold to back up her world cup title
this year. “I
am happy with my time, but a little bit disappointed too. I knew that I had
good form but it is hard to be beaten when I had such a good time. I came
here to do my best and I did that.” At 19, Guerra Rodriguez still has many years to win gold.
the outgoing champion from Belarus, took the bronze medal in 34.430sec. It
was hard for her to race after Meares had delivered a world record, she
commented on this. “It
was really hard to follow Anna. I thought I am just human I will just try my
best. I am happy with Bronze, times were fast today”
Blyth (Great Britain) is a
rising star in her first senior world championships. She finished 8th
in the 500m. She chatted to WCN about her performances so far in the
achieved a personal best in the 500m so I am very happy.” Blyth
has stepped up from the junior ranks this year and has performed
exceptionally well, she commented on this. “I
didn’t think I would ride so well here. It’s just been unbelievable. I
have posted some good times but just sitting here watching everyone else is
will complete in the European championships and hope to qualify for Beijing
(AUS) rode a personal best in a time of 35.264
seconds, 3 10ths faster than she has ridden before. “Although
it was 4/10th slower than my standing lap in qualifying and it
would have been nice to go out quicker today but it didn’t happen. This is
my first senior world championships so I am happy to come away with a medal
in the team sprint.”
performance was perhaps the most surprising. The former BMX champion started
racing track just eight months ago and won gold with the women's team
sprint. The 18-year-old was a late addition after Victoria Pendleton
preferred to focus her attention on the sprint event. During Reade’s wait
to see her final position, she was fidgeting and looked very stressed. When
it was over, she chatted to WCN. “I
can’t believe this, this is my first ever 500m tt.
far from disappointed though, it was my first time ever riding that event.
I'm thrilled to bits. Now I think I will look a bit closer at doing this
event in the future."
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