World Track Championships 2009
Sprint Qualifying and Rounds
Again the top riders qualified for the next round of the sprints. Missing out thought was Clara Sanchez (FRA). She was up against Shuang Guo (CHN) and just missed out on the line. Also having to fight their way to the next round was Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) and Yvonne Hijgenaar (NED). Despite being one of the faster riders in the 1/16 finals, Kristina Vogel (GER) could not match the speed of Willy Kanis (NED).
With six riders fighting over two spots in the final, the Repechage was always going to be tough. In the first of the rides, Hijgenaar, Sanchez and Vogel were matched. Hijgenaar played it tactical and held the sprinters line for the whole race. On the line Sanchez tried to come round but missed out again on the line. In the second ride, McCulloch used the same tactic as Hijgenaar and held the inside line, forcing Elisa Frisoni (ITA) and Miriam Welte (GER) round the outside. Welte nearly passed McCulloch on the finish straight but McCulloch held on to get into the next round.
The top twelve riders progressed to the 1/8 Finals, as expected Victoria Pendleton (GBR), Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) made the final. Lyubov Shulika (UKR), Shuang Guo (CHN), Olga Panarina (BLR), Willy Kanis (NED), Kristina Vogel and team mate Miriam Welte (GER) all qualified. Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) also made the 1/8th. In the battle of the French women, Clara Sanchez outwitted her team mate to make the final. The final two to make the cut were Elisa Frisoni (ITA) and Yvonne Hijgenaar (NED)
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) qualified fastest in a time of 10.971 seconds, just outside the World record time of 10.831 seconds. Twenty four riders started the sprint competition, notable absentees were Anna Meares (Australia) and Svetlana Grankovskaya (Russia).
Olga Panarina (BLR) set the early pace in a time of 11.176 seconds. It wasn't until the top riders over the last 12 months started that she lost her position. Shuang Guo (CHN) was the first to go faster. Guo completed the 250m in a time of 11.154 second.
World Cup winner Lyubov Shulika (UKR) was the fastest over the first 125m but could not sustain her speed to the finish and ended up completing the 250m in a time of 11.148 seconds. Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) who broke the World Record in the 500m TT, was fastest over the first 125m and finished in 11.134 seconds.
It was down to Pendleton, the World and Olympic champion from 2008 to go last and she set a blistering time of 10.971 seconds, only .14 seconds off the World record time set in 1993 by Olga Slusareva (RUS).
Willy Kanis (NED) was pleased to have got through to the quarterfinals. "I am happy to have got through, I am not feeling so well," said Kanis. Talking about the fast times in the qualifying rounds, Kanis added, "Yes some surprising some not, we will see how I go. It is good to have both of us in the next round though. I hope one of us can get through to tomorrow."
Yvonne Hijgenaar (NED) had to fight her way to the next round via the Repechage round. "I thought, this is a really hard race. Sanchez and Vogel were both faster than me in the qualification round. So I thought get to the front and try something and wait and see. It worked, so that is good," said Hijgenaar.
Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) was very relieved to have made the quarterfinals. "My goal was to make the quarterfinals and I have. Not I can go out there and give my best shot against Vicky Pendleton. I expected to go a bit faster personally but definitely the top four women went fast and set the bench mark for everyone else," said McCulloch. After achieving a World title in the Team Sprint, McCulloch was asked about re-motivating herself for the Sprints. "It wasn't too hard, Stu, [the mechanic] put World Champion on my bars so that every time I look down on my bars I am a World Champion. I don't think it has quite sunk in yet. It wasn't hard to get motivated for today. I love racing and it always challenges me," added McCulloch.
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