Commonwealth Games: Hayles fires a broadside at the 'egos' of track and field

England's cyclists kept pace with their swimmers here yesterday as they contributed two more golds in the team pursuit and the women's sprint, where Victoria Pendleton underlined her status as world champion.

Events in the velodrome and the pool are largely responsible for England's second place in the medal table behind the hosts. The challenge for the track and field athletes, whose programme gets under way today, is to match that level of performance - although Rob Hayles, who has now added team gold to his individual silver in the pursuit, seems less than convinced that they will rise to it.

Shortly after defeating the Australian quartet in conjunction with Rob Newton, Stephen Cummings and the individual champion Paul Manning, the 32-year-old Derbyshire rider questioned the attitude of some of the athletes, whom he accused of acting as if they owned the Athletes' Village.

"Obviously we've got some good athletes - when you look at the Olympics, they came away with three golds," Hayles said. "But when you consider how big the team is and how many events they actually compete in and the way they seem to act, some of them, I don't know.

"Maybe you need a bigger ego to do track and field. We're just happy getting on with what we are doing. We'll sit quietly in the corner and pop out and show what we can do on the track as opposed to talking about it. We're bloody good now and what we are doing is obviously working."

Pendleton, an ebullient and engaging 25-year-old from Hitchin, had spoken earlier in the week about the rising standards of the British team - all the home elements blend again next month for the World Championships in Bordeaux - and how she only felt at home once she had won her own world title. She maintained that level of performance in front of a partisan home crowd as she defeated the Australian who had beaten her to the sprint time trial title two days earlier, Anna Meares.

Four years ago in Manchester, Pendleton had an unhappy time of it on the track, being run into the top railings by Meares's sister, Kerrie. "That was a big learning experience," Pendleton said. "It was my first big championship and I didn't know what to expect. We are up against each other all the time in World Cups and World Championships. They are up there in the top four or five in the world. They are very aggressive riders, very good tactically and technically. So you've got to expect that. They ride like guys, to be honest."

Her bright demeanour dimmed a little when she considered her faltering performance following a win in the opening ride in the final. "After my second run I thought I'd messed it up," she said. "I had a few harsh words with myself and my coach." But a late surge on the outside saw her get her wheel to the white line before the Australian in the deciding sprint. Her feelings at the end she described as "less emotion, more relief".

Victoria's victory in Victoria was not watched by her mum, Pauline - at least, not live. "Mum gets so nervous about me racing she can't bear to watch," Pendleton said. "I've told her that I'll ring her and then she can watch it on TV when she knows the outcome."

And as the Cross of St George rose to the strains of Land of Hope and Glory, she appeared to be wiping away tears. Not so. Her make-up was apparently running, and her glasses - which she had put on for the ceremony - were smudged.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games