Hisense Arena is hotting up – Day 2 review

MELBOURNE – Australia: Anna Meares is on track to defend her women’s sprint title at the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Friday. But the Australian has a road block in rival Victoria Pendleton from Great Britain to overcome first in the semi-finals at Hisense Arena. Meares broke the world record for the flying 200 metres in qualifying at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena on Thursday.

The Australian rode 10.782 seconds in qualification to slice 0.011 of a second from the previous record set by Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite in May 2010. The 28-year-old emerged unbowed in her path to the semi-final, while five-time world champion Pendleton similarly did not lose a heat on the way to a semi-final matchup promoters would have wished was the final.

Last time the two met, Meares defeated Pendleton, 2-1, at the London World Cup in February. The male sprinters begin their quest to be the fastest man on the boards. Reigning Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy recently used the London test event to push for his spot on the British team in London this August. Following the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the UCI changed the rules to allow only one athlete per nation to compete in each of the track cycling events in London.

Competition for the one British spot is intense with Hoy against defending world champion Jason Kenny. Hoy defeated Kenny for the gold medal in Beijing. Kenny’s victory in Apeldoorn 12 months ago came after France’s Gregory Bauge had his world title stripped by the UCI in January. Bauge had missed one drug test and broke rules on rider availability for drug tests.

The 27-year-old Frenchman won the world crown in 2009 and 2010, but lost to 36-year-old Hoy in the quarter-finals of the world cup in February. Shane Perkins is the home crowd’s best hope for a medal. Australia’s win in the men’s team sprint on Wednesday will give Perkins confidence he can add to his silver medal in this event from two years ago.

Australia’s Glenn O’Shea heads into the second day of the men’s omnium with a six point advantage over Canadian Zach Bell and Ed Clancy of Great Britain. O’Shea placed third in the flying lap, fifth in the 30 km points race and second in the elimination race to be 10 points after the first day. Bell and Clancy, who was the 2010 world champion, lost ground on O’Shea in the elimination round.

The male omnium riders will have the four kilometre individual pursuit, a 15km scratch race and a one kilometre time trial to complete the six discipline event. As the men finish the two-day omnium event, the women’s begin their first day of competition in the six discipline event.

Canadian Tara Whitten is the dual defending world champion, but with the event making its Olympic debut this August several leading riders will want to place a marker for London. Multiple world champion Sarah Hammer of the USA won the event at the London UCI World Cup on a countback over Australian Annette Edmondson in mid-February. Great Britain Laura Trott won bronze while Whitten placed fourth. Russian Evgenia Romanyuta triumphed in the Astana and Beijing rounds of the recent UCI World Cup series.

In the woman’s 10km scratch race, Australia’s Melissa Hoskins enters with a recent success following her win at the London World Cup in February. Great Britain’s Danielle King will aim to add to her gold medal in the women’s team pursuit. Belgian Kelly Druyts cannot be discounted after winning the Cali round of the world cup last December.

Hisense Arena Hisense Arena Hisense Arena Hisense Arena Hisense Arena

Print Friendly, PDF & Email





Leave a Reply