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Anna Meares recovery and Olympic Games lead-up diary
At just 24 years of age Australia's Anna Meares is one of the world's top track cyclists. In addition to being the reigning World Champion in the 500 metre Time Trial, Meares is also the defending 500 metre Time Trial Olympic Games champion, after taking gold at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.
Meares suffered a setback in her Beijing Olympic Games bid in January after a horrifying accident at the Los Angeles Track World Cup came close to ending more than her Olympic ambitions. Now back in Australia and riding again, Meares has joined Cyclingnews' list of diarist and will share her road to recovery and, if all goes well for the Queenslander, Beijing Olympic bid with our readers.
July 6, 2008
As everyone knows by now I did my flying 200m time trial and successfully qualified for the team to go the Beijing Olympic Games in China.
Revolution 3 was an amazing competition and the crowd was out in force which was great. I got to the track with time to spare for my warm up with the plan to have my trial second event at about 7:10 PM. I worked my warm up to the minute so I was ready and let's just say it didn't go to plan.
For starters I was to do a track warm up at 6:50 PM, however they closed the track to the riders from 6:40 PM, which I didn't know about. I then was told there was an introduction of riders plus pre-race entertainment for about half an hour and I wasn't expected to be on until 7:30 PM. To add to it they were running 10-15 minutes late.
Well...you can imagine for me, who planned so carefully my warm up regime, that this didn't sit too well and I was panicking! I got flustered and Marv did his best to calm me down. I changed my warm up with his help as best I could but from that point on I couldn't talk to anyone. People talked to me and I just nodded back in acknowledgement that I had heard them.
It came time and I couldn't look at anyone let alone talk to them for the nerves in my stomach were incredible. I kept telling myself to do what I do best. Do what you been doing in training...
I lined up down the back straight and my qualifying was announced. The crowd feel silent in anticipation. Stu pushed me off and I was away. Chinese drummers playing in the background... funnily enough I didn't hear them. The crowd screamed in unison, but again I didn't hear them. I gave it everything I had and crossed the line. 'That felt good' I thought to myself.
I looked at the clock to see what time I had ridden. 11.18seconds. I turned my head and thought 'felt bloody good'!
The crowd was cheering, fireworks went off and loud music played. I rode past Marv on the home straight and gave him a high five. I waved to the crowd with the biggest smile on my face and the biggest sense of relief in my stomach. In silent thought I told myself: 'You did it. You stubborn little bugger, you did it. You're going to the Games.'
I feel I didn't show too much elation on the night for one sole reason. It was a moment of satisfaction beyond word,s yet I was reserved in demonstrating my sheer happiness for the immense feeling of relief of accomplishment that I felt. I did it!
Stay Tuned for Leg one of Olympic Trip...Cottbuss, Germany
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Images by Anna Meares