MILDENHALL cycling speed queen Victoria Pendleton is celebrating Commonwealth gold – after winning the women s sprint title in Melbourne. Pendleton, 25, beat great rival Anna Meares, of Australia, in the final, to win her second medal of the games – she h
MILDENHALL cycling speed queen Victoria Pendleton is celebrating Commonwealth gold - after winning the women's sprint title in Melbourne.
Pendleton, 25, beat great rival Anna Meares, of Australia, in the final, to win her second medal of the games - she had earlier finished second behind Meares in the 500m time trial to claim silver.
Pendleton won the first heat, but Meares showed her class to level things up after the second run.
The decider was neck-and-neck until Pendleton blew away her rival with a blistering burst of speed around the last corner to take gold.
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She said afterwards: "I am very, very happy. I didn't think I was going to get it to be honest. I think after the second ride I thought I'd messed it up but it was so close that ride, I was surprised to have pulled it back.
"After being dropped in at the deep end in 2002, I'm really pleased with having turned it around a lot in four years."
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Pendleton endured a disappointing Commonwealths in Manchester four years ago, but more than made up for it at the Melbourne velodrome on Saturday.
Pendleton said of Meares: "She's very good tactically and physically so I kind of expected it. I found out the hard way in 2002 so I know what to expect in sprinting these days. This is my main event and because it's an Olympic event it was my main focus. The sprint is a gamble, it's always very close so I feel great about the win. It was tough but you just have to block it out and focus."
The gold was added to the silver Pendleton won on the first day of competition at the Games last Thursday. Despite beting Kerrie Meares' Games record with a time of 34.662, her sister Anna even topped that, registering 34.326 in the 500m time trial.
n One athelte who will not be returning from Melbourne with a medal is Ely javelin star Goldie Sayers.
Goldie, 23, could only finish fifth in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with a best throw of 57.29. Sunette Viljoen of South Africa won gold with an effort of 60.72.
n Ely bowler Ellen Falkner's Games has got off to a mixed start.
Ellen won her first match, against Zelda Humphreys of Malawi, 13-4, 4-9, 2-1 and her second against Kenya's Maureen Burns 8-6, 6-7, 2-1.
She tasted defeat, however, against Elizabeth James of Swaziland, 4-11, 9-6, 0-2. She is due to face Siti Zalina Ahmad, of Malaysia, in her final group game today (Thursday).