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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK

Meares in magical form

Kerrie Meares has won cycling's first gold medal at Manchester's National Cycling Centre with a new Commonwealth record.

The Australian, fifth in last year's world championships, won the women's 500m time trial in a time of 35.084 seconds, travelling round the 250m indoor track at an average speed of 51.305km/h.

The Commonwealth record was broken three times in the seven-woman event.

Anna Meares, Kerrie's sister, was the first to set a new mark of 35.752, followed immediately by England's Jules Paulding (35.448).

The final rider, top seed and world silver medallist Lori-Ann Muenzer, was unable to follow their lead and knock Meares out of the gold medal position.

However, her time was good enough to claim bronze behind Paulding, knocking Anna Meares off the podium.

Meares described her victory as the "highlight of my career".

"I actually couldn't get my breath at one point but I just had to kick in," the gold medallist said.

"I didn't know what to expect but I did hope that I could do a personal best even though I didn't know where that would place me," she added.

Silver medallist Paulding was pleased with her time.

"The home crowd were brilliant," she said.

"I thought I could do well but equally anything could have happened and I could have been fourth".

England's Victoria Pendleton was .18 outside the bronze medal in fifth while Welsh hopeful Denise Hampson was seventh.

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