Meares completes golden worlds for Australia
Sun, 27 Mar 19:49:00 2011
Anna Meares won the women's keirin on Sunday to claim her third gold medal as Australia sealed their domination of the track world championships on the final day.
Meares, already victorious in the team and individual sprints, triumphed again in one of the most unpredictable track events, avoiding a crash to take the lead for the last lap and sprint for victory ahead of Belarus's Olga Panarina.
Her compatriots Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard also defended their madison title on Sunday to take Australia's gold-medal haul to eight from 19 events. They also won two silvers and a bronze.
"We're in great shape all round," Meares said.
"These successes are a huge boost to our morale.
"I got lots of text messages from the back-up staff at home in Australia saying all that torment I put them through was totally worth it."
Meares, 27, said her long-time goal of a sprint title had been "an emotional relief".
"It's far beyond anything I ever achieved or thought I would," she said. "This is a career goal I had ever since I've been a teenager. I wanted a gold in every discipline. I got that today and I'm so excited about our prospect in the next few years."
Howard, who with Meyer pushed the Czech Republic's Martin Blaha and Jiri Hochmann into second place, said the Australian team had to live up to high expectations.
"We definitely felt the pressure going into the race given Australia's track record," he said. "Next year (with the world track championships) in Melbourne, there will be even more, and we had to prove we can handle it.
"In Melbourne and London (at the 2012 Olympics), we're going to be one of the top nations."
In other events, Canada's Tara Whitten won the women's omnium despite not winning any of the six races that make up the discipline, and the men's kilometre went to Germany's Stefan Nimke, who used his experience and endurance power to secure his fourth career world title.
Track Cycling :