Tearful Pendleton strikes gold in Melbourne
Friday 06 April 2012
A tearful Victoria Pendleton today declared her sixth Track Cycling World Championships sprint title as the most important of her career as she moved into pole position for the London Olympic Games with victory in Melbourne.
In an extraordinary day at the Hisense Arena, 2008 Olympic champion Pendleton was awarded victory off the bike when race officials relegated her final opponent Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania, handing the Briton a 2-0 success.
The key to victory was a stunning come-from-behind semi-final triumph over defending champion and perennial adversary Anna Meares of Australia - an epic duel which was full of drama and proved Pendleton's determination for glory at the London Olympics is far from diminished.
Pendleton, who intends to retire after August's Olympic track programme, lost control and crashed in the first bout - suffering abrasions to her right shoulder, elbow and hip - before being granted a reprieve in the second as Meares was adjudged to have impeded her opponent by going outside the sprinters' lane.
The officials' decision set up a deciding contest, which Meares led out on the last of three laps, but Pendleton responded by accelerating around her rival and won in a photo-finish.
“This is probably the most significant and probably the most emotional, being the last time I'm going to do this,” said Pendleton, who regained the title she won in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“It means a lot to me. It probably means as much as the first one (in Los Angeles), which was special, because I never thought I had the ability to be world champion.
“I'm delighted I won but it's nice to win by crossing the line first - relegations always make it a bit weird.
“It's a shame in some respect and it's not great for the crowd either, but they're the rules.”
Latest in Sport
Don't mess with me, Diego Costa warns Manchester City ahead of Chelsea clash
World Masters Athletics Championships: Meet the 95-year-olds still picking up medals
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
West Ham vs Liverpool match report: Reds are caught cold by hot Hammers
Aston Villa vs Arsenal team news: Alexis Sanchez incorrectly named in starting line-up as Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain called up to start
- 1 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 3 Scottish referendum 'English question': Tory MPs call on David Cameron to create an English first minister in wake of No vote
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...