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Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Sunday, 27 March 2011 16:39 UK

Track Worlds 2011: Aussie Meares out-shines Pendleton

World Track Championships
Venue: Apeldoorn, Netherlands Dates: 23-27 March

British Cyclist Victoria Pendleton

Pendleton loses in Keirin semi-finals

Britain's Victoria Pendleton missed the chance of a third medal at the World Championships when she was eliminated from the keirin in the semi-finals.

Australia's Anna Meares won the event for her third gold this week, while Pendleton finished seventh overall.

Pendleton, 30, has already won silver behind Meares in the team sprint and bronze in the individual sprint.

Great Britain end the championships fourth in the medal table with one gold, three silver and five bronze.

Their haul is down significantly on last year's total of three golds, five silvers and one bronze in Denmark, while Australia won 11 medals in all, with eight golds.

However, British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said he was unconcerned by the Aussie dominance.

Brailsford satisfied with GB medal haul

The GB team had opted to focus on the 10 events of the 19 on offer in Apeldoorn that will be part of the Olympic programme in 2012.

They were also hit by world omnium champion Ed Clancy's withdrawal through illness, while women's omnium pick Lizzie Armitstead was forced out through injury.

"We came here to look at and compete for Olympic medals. We were down to eight events that we focused on and we medalled in seven," Brailsford told BBC 5 live sports extra.

"In those seven events we're really close. Can we progress? I think we can."

"We've set the bar so high that if we don't get gold, people ask what's going on but we're still on the podium.

OLLIE WILLIAMS' BLOG

"I think we've got more to give but I think it's a good thing. In the short term it's not very nice but in the long term it's a very healthy thing."

Britain's Laura Trott was fastest in the sixth and final event of the omnium, covering the 500m time trial in 35.799 seconds, to finish 11th overall behind Canada's Tara Whitten.

A third event this week proved too much for Pendleton as she struggled in the heats and needed two qualifying races even to reach the semi-finals.

Former Great Britain sprinter Craig McLean told 5 live sports extra: "She was stuck on the outside and sometimes you can get away with that but it's a quality field in the semi-finals and she just ran out of steam."

Pendleton, who won the three sprint titles at the World Championships in 2007, battled to victory in the the minor final of the keirin before Meares avoided a crash in the penultimate lap of the gold medal race to win overall.

FINAL MEDAL TABLE
1. Australia 8 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze
2. France 2 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze
3. Belarus 2 gold, 1 silver
4. Great Britain 1 gold, 3 silver, 5 bronze
5. United States 1 gold, 2 silver

"I was really disappointed with my performances in the early rounds. I was hesitant and that's the worst mistake you can make in the keirin," Pendleton told BBC Sport.

She said of Meares: "She had a fantastic competition, she's in the form of her life. I don't feel too despondent because I know I'm not in the best form of my life. I know when the training and preparation is right it will come together.

"The goal I'm looking for is an Olympic medal. None of this seems to matter in comparison. That's what I'm, aiming for and that's what I'm dedicating my whole life towards."

Meares, the Olympic 500m time trial champion in 2004, followed team sprint gold with her first world individual sprint title on Saturday.

And Australia coach Gary Sutton believes the victory marked a change in the 27-year-old.

"Anna's a very special athlete. To me she is the package, as Sir Chris Hoy is," he told BBC 5 live sports extra

"Before she lacked a bit of confidence but now she believes in herself and more importantly she believes in the people around her.

"It's one she really wanted to win and I think that's a turning point for her. You could see the emotion. Victoria has always been a step ahead [before]."

Leigh Howard and Cameron Mayer won Australia's other gold of the final day, in the Madison, while Stefan Nimke paced his race perfectly to win the men's 1km time trial in one minute 00.793 seconds to give Germany their only gold medal of the five-day championships.

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Pendleton upbeat despite keirin disappointment



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see also
Hoy pipped to keirin gold medal
26 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Duo optimistic after silver
25 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Pendleton misses out on sprint gold
24 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Pendleton is up for Olympic fight
21 Mar 11 |  Cycling


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