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Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 12:07 UK

Briton Pendleton wins sprint gold

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Video - Pendleton sprints to gold

Victoria Pendleton won Britain's sixth track cycling gold of the 2008 Olympics with victory over Australia's Anna Meares in the women's sprint final.

The 27-year-old was in a class of her own, winning the first two races of the best of three, with relative ease.

She led out in the first race before outsprinting her opponent and then gave Meares the chance to lead in the next but the result was even more emphatic.

China's Guo Shuang beat Netherlands' Willy Kanis to take bronze.

Pendleton said she was delighted to be part of the successful British cycling team at the Beijing Games.

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"It doesn't feel real yet," she told BBC Sport.

"It hasn't sunk in yet. After the success of the team is it too much to ask if I don't get a medal? I'm so glad I'm part of it now."

The three-times world sprint champion then paid tribute to the team psychiatrist who lifted her spirits after she failed to win a medal at Athens 2004.

"Steve Peters started working with me in Athens and I feel completely different now," she added.

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Video - Pendleton's 'surreal' success

"I'm lucky to have so many good have people around me."

Pendleton said it was "sick" that there were fewer cycling events for women than for men at the Olympics.

"At the World Championships, we have four events and I've won three out of those four in recent years," Pendleton said.

"So it's tough when the men have three events and I only have one and it's the most risky of the three.

"The fact the men have seven medals on the track and we only have three, I think that's sick to be honest, I think something really does need to be done about that.

"It's just not fair - it wouldn't happen in other sports."

Pendleton, who studied at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, first made her mark in cycling in 2001 when she won one bronze and three silver medals at the British National Track Championships.

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Video - Pendleton happy to win first medal

There followed three fourth-placed finishes in sprint competitions - at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2003 and 2004 World Championships.

After missing out at the 2004 Olympics, Pendleton won her first major medal, gold at the 2005 World Championships. In doing so, she became the first woman to become a cycling world champion in 40 years.

More success followed the following year in the Commonwealth Games before she became the darling of 2007 World Championships by taking three golds.


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see also
GB storm to gold in team pursuit
18 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Golden Britons sparkle in Beijing
16 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Awesome GB sprint team take gold
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Is Britain too good at cycling?
18 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Wiggins in top form as GB shine
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Olympic road race glory for Cooke
10 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics
The role of a sprint cyclist
03 May 08 |  Cycling


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