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WCN quicklink >>  Anna Meares seals Beijing place    Anna Meares - back on track     Meares at home - on a bike already

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Anna Meares will miss World Championships, Copenhagen World Cup

Wednesday 29 January 2008

Olympic qualification now in doubt

Anna Meares faced a media conference at the Adelaide Hilton to explain her current situation regarding the injured she sustained in the LA round of the Track World Cup Classics earlier in January.

The 24 year old multiple Champion at international level sustained a fracture of her C2 vertebrae, some torn muscles in her neck, a dislocated right shoulder, torn tendons in her shoulder and some bruising and deep grazes in the crash on January 21. She was racing in the final of the keirin and preparing to race around her fellow competitors from the back of the line when a touch of wheels caused her to fall heavily.

Meares commented that "I realise that I'm pretty lucky with the injuries that I have come away with. The C2 vertebrae, so I have been told, is the one that controls all your breathing and if that goes, so too does your life. " She continued, "Lucky, but disappointed."

The disappointment arises from the fact that her qualification for the Olympics in Beijing (August 2008) are now in doubt. With her injuries likely to keep her away from the bike and serious training for six weeks, the World Championships in Manchester at the end of March are not feasible. Gone too is participation in the final round of the Track World Cup Classics in Copenhagen in February. Missing these events means that although she is currently in a qualifying position, other riders could 'leapfrog' her and put her out of contention.

Olympic qualification is open for 9 slots. There is no keirin for the women, Meares is hoping to qualify in the sprint. The top 9 ranked sprint riders (on UCI points) from the 2007-2008 (finishes 30 March 2008) track season will qualify. Meares is currently fifth, on 17 points. Natalya Tsylinskaya (BLR) leads, with 32 points. Twelve points are awarded for winning a World Cup round or World Championship.

It is possible that the UCI will grant Meares a 'wildcard', but only under exceptional circumstances, such as another qualified competitor withdrawing from the sprint. The timeline for appointment of wildcards is up until July 2008.

 

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