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2006 Commonwealth Games - JR
Melbourne, Australia, March 16-26, 2006
March 16: Womens 500m time trial
Anna Meares back on top
By Mal Sawford with additional reporting by Rob Jones
World record holder and Olympic champion Anna Meares, the final starter in the 500 metre time trial, had to overcome the personal best time and Commonwealth record set by Victoria Pendleton (England) only moments earlier to take Australia's first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games.
Meares is no stranger to pressure, having needing a world record to win at the Olympics, but admitted after tonight's ride that she was briefly stunned by Pendleton's time. "I can't really repeat what I thought. 'Oh gosh' might be a nice way of putting it! I saw 34.6 come up on the board and was straight back looking at the ground thinking you're here, you do your own race, don't worry about the time."
The younger of the two Meares sisters was up to the challenge, stopping the clock in 34.326 to take the win. Kerrie Meares finished with the bronze medal to ensure both sisters had something to show their parents: Marilyn and Tony Meares had never seen their girls race in a major competition before. "My parents were crying after the finish. Having them here was so important. It's the second fastest time I've ever done, so I'm pretty pleased with it. My back seems to be fixed. I felt strong all the way."
Reigning world sprint champion Pendleton was extremely pleased with her ride which "was my personal best by two tenths of a second. I got beaten by Anna, and I couldn't have gone any faster. She's the world record holder and Olympic champion - of course she's fast! It's the closest I've ever been to her in competition, and I'm not really a 500 metre specialist." Kerrie Meares was pleased to get a solid ride in, to be able to prove "I'm over my injuries, and I'm feeling really good. It gives me confidence for the sprint competition."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com
Images by Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com
1 Anna Meares (Australia) 34.326 (52.438 km/h) *Games Record 2 Victoria Pendleton (England) 34.662 3 Kerrie Meares (Australia) 35.210 4 Fiona Carswell (New Zealand) 35.635 5 Elizabeth Williams (New Zealand) 36.104