OLYMPICS: WOMEN’S SPRINT
The final ride for Great Britain’s Queen of the Sprints, Victoria Pendleton. I think everyone was hoping for a rematch of the 2008 Olympics when Victoria Pendleton beat Australienne Anna Meares for the Gold. The two rivals met earlier this year at the World Championship Sprint finals in Melbourne where Pendleton proved to be the stronger rider. Now it’s time for one last race before Pendleton’s retirement from the track.
At the end of the three-day tournament, Meares and Pendleton found themselves matched up against each other for the Gold once again. The first two win two out of three heats is declared victorious. The first heat was almost too close to call. According to the photo finish, Pendleton beat Meares by .001 seconds. However she was relegated for coming out of the pole lane during the final sprint.
The second heat started with Meares up by one though she had to start in the front — a disadvantage in Match Sprinting. Pendleton followed Meares up and down the track for the first three quartes of a lap as they played classic the cat and mouse game. Coming out of turn four, Meares moved high up the track and trackstanded to force a pass. Pendleton couldn’t stay behind her opponent and moved to the front. This is where she lost the Gold medal and it seems she knew it.
Pendleton took a gap in front of Meares and tried to lead out the sprint going into the bell lap, but it looked half-hearted. Meares overtook Pendleton with ease on the back straight and won the Gold medal by several bike lengths. During the medal ceremony, Victoria Pendleton bid a tearful farewell to the sold out crowd at the London Olympic Velodrome.
GOLD — Australia (Anna Meares)
SILVER — Great Britain (Victoria Pendleton)
BRONZE — China (Shuang Guo)
See the full results HERE. Watch the final heat at NBC Olympics. Photos courtesy of London2012.com