Olympic Games, Beijing, 2008
27-year-old was in a class of her own, winning the first two races of the
best of three, with relative ease. She led out in the first race before
outsprinting Meares and then gave Meares the chance to lead in the next
but the result was even more emphatic. Pendleton
took the Olympic title with a lead of several lengths over the gutsy
Australian who overcame injury after a serious race crash in February.
China's Guo Shuang beat Netherlands' Willy Kanis to take bronze. Kanis really did not show the form that she had shown at the World Championship in March.
Post Race Comments
(Great Britain) was delighted to be part of the Gold medal successful that
the rest of the British cycling team have experienced at the Beijing
doesn't feel real yet," she told BBC Sport. "It
hasn't sunk in yet. After the success of the team is it too much to ask if
I don't get a medal? I'm so glad I'm part of it now” said
three-times world sprint champion then paid tribute to the team
psychiatrist who lifted her spirits after she failed to win a medal at
Athens 2004. "Steve
Peters started working with me in Athens and I feel completely different
now," she added. "I'm lucky to have so many
good have people around me."
(Australia) had fought so hard to even get to the Olympic after a crash in
the LA world Cup event left her with a broken neck. Meares now has a
silver medal to add to the Gold and Bronze from Athens. She found it hard
to hold back the emotions during her interview with the media.
begin to tell you how much this means: said Meares. “It has been a tough
run , when you get told you are two millimeters away from a life changing
moment it changes you. I always believed that I could get back and this is
incredible just to be here. To have a medal after that last few months is
just incredible” said Meares.
reflected on the support she has received to get back to racing. “There
have been so many people around me that were so positive. They have been
with me the whole way. This is the proudest moment for me. I
am the youngest of 5 children, the rest of them are at home watching, but
my parents and husband are here with me to watch their youngest get a
Silver medal at the Olympics, that’s amazing”
young Chinese rider at 22 looked composed against Anna Meares (Australia)
in the first sprint. Meares allowed Guo the front and could not catch her
when she turned on the speed. Guo took the first round. In the second
round Meares pushed Guo to the top of the boards and again allowed Guo to
the front albeit briefly. Meares moved round with two laps to go. Guo
attacked with a lap and a half to go but Meares had enough to come round
to force the decider.
the final sprint Meares moved to the front at the start but after one lap
Guo lost her front wheel when Meares slowed suddenly. Guo crashed to the
boards and the race was restarted. Meares moved to the front and picked up
the speed with two laps to go. At 280m Guo moved too close to Meares in
the sprinters lane and nearly hooked Meares under the arm. This caused
Meares to wobble a little and lost pace to Guo. Guo won the sprint for the
line but was later relegated for her actions.
Pendleton (Great Britain) never looked troubled in both of her races
against Willy Kanis (Netherlands) Pendleton showed real dominance to
secure her place in the ride for Gold.
first of the head to head sprint races British World Champion Victoria
Pendleton was up against Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite. Despite all effort
from Krupeckaite, Pendleton was too strong. In their second round the
story was repeated. Pendleton, powered round the outside of Krupeckaite on
the back straight and never looked troubled.
champion, Shuang Guo was next up against the Belarussian Natallia
Tsylinskaya. In both rounds Guo dominated although Tsylinskaya didn’t
make it easy for her, forcing Guo right up on the banking at the bell and
taking it right to the line on both occasions.
Anna Meares was up next against her French rival Clara Sanchez. Meares cut
it close on both occasions. In the first sprint Meares managed to come
round Sanchez on the back straight and beat her on the line. In the second
sprint, Meares pretended to attack with a lap and a half to go. She eased
up and Sanchez took the opportunity to attack for home. Meares was too
strong though and caught Sanchez on the line.
final match up, Dutchwoman, Willy Kanis was up against the American
champion Jennie Reed. Reed seemed to lack the form that she had during the
World Championships in March and Kanis made it look easy as she came round
with 50m to go in both sprints.
winner of each heat automatically qualified for a spot in the 1/4 finals,
while the losers had to fight it out in the 1/8 Repechage.
Pendleton was up against the Japanese rider Sakie Tsukuda. Tsukuda led
from the front but could not match the speed of Pendleton.
At the bell Pendleton created a 20m gap across and moved into the
Meares (Australia) was up against the Dutch rider Yvonne Hijgenaar.
Hijgenaar led from the front, while Meares attacked from the top of the
banking at 250m and Hijgenaar could not match her speed.
Sanchez (France) was up against the stalwart of women’s sprinting
Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus). Tsylinskaya led from the front but at the
bell Sanchez had to work really hard to stay on the wheel of Tsylinskaya.
Sanchez scrapped into the next round on the line, having been forced round
the long way by Tsylinskaya’s speed.
Reed (USA) was up against Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania). Reed never
looked troubled by the Lithuanian and easily moved into the ¼ finals.
the match up between Dutch rider Willy Kanis and Lisandra Guerra (Cuba),
Guerra won but was relegated for not holding her line in the sprint.
local champion Shuang Guo raised the stadium during her race against the
Russian Swetlana Grankowskaja. Guo never looked troubled and powered her
way into the next round.
the first of the repechage Natallia Tsylinskaya showed her dominance in
the sprint event to beat the Cuban Guerra and the Japanese rider Tsukuda
to go through to the ¼ finals.
In the second round Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) held off the challenges of Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) and Russian Swetlana Grankowskaja.
Pendleton (Great Britain) qualified fastest and in the process created a
new Olympic 200m record; that had been held since the Atlanta games.
Pendleton covered the 200m in 10.963 seconds, well ahead of the record
held by the Australian Michelle King (nee Ferris) at 11.212 seconds. Pendleton
was only just less than 1/100 of a second behind the World record set by
Olga Slyusareva 10.831 seconds in 1993.
fastest 12 sprinters in the world assembled for the sprint competition
with some of them having to meet enormous challenges to make it to the
games. In particular, Anna Meares (Australia) and Natallia Tsylinskaya
(Belarus) had to recover from serious accidents and struggle back to
fitness to make the games.
Pendleton was last to go and knew she had to go under 11 seconds to secure the fastest qualification ride. Shuang Guo (China) was second fastest with Meares posting the third fastest time. The surprise of the qualifying round was how far off the top times that Lisandra Guerra, the young Cuba rider was. Guerra had been pushing both Meares and Pendleton all season in the World Cup and World Championship events. Guerra completed the 200m in a time of 11.642 seconds.
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