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World Track Championships 2008

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Sprint Qualifying and Rounds


Race Writeup

Sprint Qualifying

Victoria Pendelton (GBR) produced a new British record and personal best of 10.904 seconds to qualify fastest over 200m.

Jinjie Gong (CHN) held the fastest time of 11.152 seconds until the last four riders started. Simona Krupeckaite was the first to go faster, completing the 200m in a time of 11.093 seconds. Krupeckaite did not hold the lead for long; Shuang Guo (CHN) produced the fastest 100m and finished in 11.002 seconds. Guo’s time looked like it would make her favourite going into the next round but Pendleton rode the best performance of her life riding at 66.030km/hr over the 200m distance.


1/16 Finals

The main favourites for the sprint event managed to secure their places in the 1/8 final after solid performances, in particular from the 2007 World Champion Pendleton. Pendleton had an easy run against Anastasiya Chulkova (RUS), the Russian not able to match the speed of Pendleton.

Shuang Guo (CHN) was up against the Columbian Diana Garcia Orrego. Guo went to the front immediately and never really looked troubled.

Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) powered her way round the young French rider Virginie Cueff to win her ride off.

Jinjie Gong one of three Chinese riders to make the 1/16 finals could not match the speed of Oksana Grishina (RUS). The Chinese rider tried to move round the outside but could not quite get there on the line.

Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (CUB) attacked Miriam Welte at the bell and the German could not hold the speed of the Cuban.

Willy Kanis the leader after the World Cup series, never looked troubled against Elisa Frisoni (ITA). Kanis moved to the front from the start and never looked back.

Sandie Clair (FRA) raised the levels of excitement in the crowd when she attacked Natallia Tsylinskaya (BLR) at the 500m to go point. She blew though, she could not hold the speed and Tsylinskaya moved round her easily to win

Christin Muche (GER) just beat Sveltana Grankowskaja (RUS) on the line, the decision had to go to the Photo finish.

Jennie Reed (USA) was able to power round the young Australian to win her heat. McCulloch tried hard but could not hold off the American’s speed.

Yvonne Hijgenaar (NED) never looked troubled against Dana Gloss, as she secured her place in the last 12. Pumping her arm as she crossed the line, Hijgenaar was obviously relieved to have made it through as she needed a top 12 finish to secure her spot for the Olympics.

Lulu Zheng (CHN) worked extremely hard to hold the inside line all the way to the end of the ride against Lyubov Shulika (UKR) to win.

Clara Sanchez (FRA) moved quickly onto the inside of the track to move ahead of Anna Blyth (GBR) and to win her heat. Blyth a former Field Hockey player is still very young and is a sprinter to watch in the future.

1/8 Final

There were a number of top riders forced to fight out their spots in the repecharges, they were Clara Sanchez (FRA), Oksana Grishina (RUS), Yvonne Hijgenaar (NED), Lulu Zheng (CHN) and Christin Muche (GER).

In the first of the 1/8th finals Clara Sanchez performed the first track stand of the competition to force Pendleton in front. Her tactic did not work however as Pendleton moved round on the final bend to win.

In the all Chinese ride Guo never looked troubled against Zheng. Krupeckaite attacked Hijgenaar at the bell and just held on to secure her place in the top 8. Reed had an easy run against Grishina, while Guerra Rodriguez had to work really hard to beat Muche.

In the final match up Tsylinskaya lent on Willy Kanis and in the process blew her front tire, Tsylinskaya lost control and crashed to the ground. It was some time before they were able to move her. The latest news was that she has a damaged shoulder and concussion.


In the first of the repecharge rounds Sanchez and Grishina had to get the whistle from the commissaire to get them to move on after their back straight track stand. Sanchez remained on Grishina’s wheel until 100m to go and moved round to take the win.

The last repecharge was a three up between Zheng, Muche and Hijgenaar. Hijgenaar had the inside line and worked tremendously hard to hold it to the finish.

Sitting at home in Australia in Adelaide local time when Meares when she was interviewed by Gennie Sheer [Australian Media]. Here is her reaction to the news that Australia has qualified a place in the women's sprint for Beijing. She was on tender hooks to see where Zheng and Krupeckaite would finish. A 5th or better for Zheng and a second of better for Krupeckaite would have meant that Meares was out of the Olympics.


Anna Meares - Australia

"I've been up all night - couldn't sleep anyway so I thought I may as  well sit up and watch and wait. 'Grannie' (Svetlana Grankowskaja) rode a 10.2  and I thought she's on form and I'm in trouble but then she got put out in the first round and I was thanking my lucky stars.

Poor Natalia [Tsylinskaya] fell awkwardly it made me feel sorry for her because I can imagine the road ahead if she's got a major injury but she is the toughest girl on the tour and if anyone can pull  through and come back she can. I can't stop shaking. After LuLu was beaten in the second round I thought great that's one race down - and then in repechage (Christin) Muche was my favourite  but then when they started riding two abreast pretty quick from the get go I thought Yvonne [Hijgenaar] 'what are you doing?' I just wanted to close my eyes and not watch but  watch at the same time. That last lap when Yvonne pulled out a little bit extra to hold off  LuLu -  I felt so happy.

Mark (husband) stayed up for first round but he has to go work today so I'm going to go wake him up now and tell him.  I held back from screaming but the tears have been flowing.

It's been a really hard week, lack of sleep, stress to the point where my hair's falling out and I'm constantly in Manchester mentally thinking this is what they're doing at this minute, this is how we're preparing for this race....But now I can concentrate on preparing for the Olympics -  it's  fantastic news."


Victoria Pendleton won in two straight against Yvonne Hijgenaar to win her way into another semi-final.

Jennie Reed (USA) was also able to go through in two straight rides against Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez who received a warning for dangerous riding in the final bend of the second race.

In the ride between Shuang Guo and Clara Sanchez the pair battled right to the line. Guo took the first win but was relegated for entering the sprinter's lane when the opponent was already there in the second race. This gave Sanchez a chance to come back but Guo was too strong.

The race between Simona Krupeckaite and Willy Kanis had its challenges too. Krupeckaite was relegated for not having held her line during the last 200 meters of the race in heat 1. She bounced back though and won the next two to secure her place in the top 4 and a chance of a medal.

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