World Track Championships 2010
Sprint Finals - Pendleton World Champion again
Vicky Pendleton (GBR) broke the drought of Gold medals for the women in the British team. Pendleton won both races to secure Gold. The first heat looked very close, with Guo leading out from a lap to go. Victoria came round her with a typically surging acceleration down the back straight. Guo held her round the final bend and for a moment it looked like the defending champion might have stalled, but then she eased past her on the line. It certainly looked close, but the replay revealed that Victoria actually had a bit more to spare than had been apparent and was perhaps even easing up as she crossed the line.
The second heat produced a bizarre crash for Victoria as she appeared to hit a small blemish or lose piece of track filler and lost her front wheel, before cart-wheeling backwards down the bank. Luckily she wasn't obviously hurt and was back for the re-run within a couple of minutes.
Pendleton took the initiative in the second heat, going to the front after two laps. Guo sensed she had an opportunity as Pendleton is usually more comfortable chasing. Indeed Guo got up alongside her and was half a wheel in front going into the final banking. However, Pendleton was in no mood to let it go to a final heat and re-gathered herself and shrugged off her opponent down the final straight to the line. Guo almost fell as she lost her balance as she tried to stay on terms.
Shuang Guo (CHN) continued to dominate the sprint competition, although she did not get it all her own way. Up against Simona Krupeckaite (LTU), the Lithuanian won the first sprint but the strong Chinese rider fought back to win the final two races.
Vicky Pendleton (GBR) continued her dominance of the sprint event, winning in two straight races against Anna Meares (AUS)
Meares and Krupeckaite will race for Bronze, Guo and Pendleton Gold and Silver.
Shuang Guo (CHN) was up against Olga Panarina (BLR) in the fist of the quarterfinals. Despite an attack from Panarina, Guo made it look easy to the line to go one up. In their second race, Guo never looked troubled and easily placed herself in the semi-finals.
Anna Meares (AUS) was up against Kristina Vogel (GER) in the second heat. Vogels led out but Meares attacked at the bell and Vogel could not catch her. In the second race, Meares decided to take the front and froced Vogel to go high on the bank. This gave Meares the advantage on the final lap and she took the win. In a review, the judges relegated Meares for not holding her line in the sprint, forcing a third race. In the final race, Vogel fell as they lined up to start. Once away, it was Vogel who too the front. Vogel kept the pace high and attacked just before the bell. Meares passed her easily and secured her place in the next round.
Vicky Pendleton (GBR) was up against the new 20 year old Russian sprinter Victoria Bananova. Bananova led Pendleton out and attacked at the ball. Pendleton made it look easy and winning with 8 metres to spare. Pendleton took the front in the second race. Bananova attacked just before the bell but she could not hold off Pendleton, who won easily through to the semi-final.
In the final grouping, Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) was up against Kaarle McCulloch (AUS). The start was delayed due to McCulloch experiencing some cramping in her left leg. Krupeckaite led out and McCulloch dived in to get the inside line. McCulloch could not hold her pace and Krupeckaite went one up. In the second race, McCulloch took the front. After trying to force Krupeckaite to the front, Krupeckaite caught McCulloch off guard and attacked with a lap and a half to go. McCulloch could not catch her and gave up the chase.
Victoria Pendleton (GBR)
Pendleton was keen to avoid a third heat? "The adrenaline rush can be good as long as you don't have too many injuries. After last year I really didn't want to have to go through that experience again, so I was like ‘be nice to yourself Vic' don't bottle up too much emotion and just try to get through it!"
And, finally, on winning her final heat from the front: "It's not my preferred tactic on a track like this with such long straights and with finish line so far away it makes it hard to judge quite right so it was something I was avoiding!"
Shuang Guo (CHN) certainly looked the fastest of the sprinters and she certainly showed good form. "I am very happy with how I am sprinting and I am very pleased with making the semi-final," said Guo.
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) did what she needed to do to get to the semi-finals. Talking to the jounalists, Pendleton commented on her low qualification place, "I did what I needed to do to qualify. It did not matter in the 200m qualification for me to come first I just had to make sure I qualified."
"Getting through to the semi-final in two straight wins means I have more time to recover and prepare for the finals. I am very happy with my form," added Pendleton.
Simon Krupeckaite (LTU) was optimistic about her chances in the semi-finals. "I will have to play the game if I want to get through. I need to get my head in the right place to feel confident I can win," she said.
Anna Meares (AUS) had to fight through three races to get to the semi-finals, "I did not agree with the disqualification in the second race but I respect the judges. I went into the third race angry and I was determined to win, " said Meares.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
Sorry, we didn't have a photographer there, we were in Italy at Trofeo Binda - road World Cup, round 1
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