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Pendleton retires with sprint silver

ESPN staff
August 7, 2012 « Dressage gold for Great Britain | Chartbeat test »
Victoria Pendleton retires after the Olympics © PA Photos
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Britain's Victoria Pendleton failed to ensure the dream finale to her career as she lost out to Anna Meares in the women's sprint final.

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Pendleton was beaten in the first two of the best-of-three sprints, in what was a repeat of the Beijing final. That time Pendleton came out on top; this time it was Australia's Meares.

Pendleton seemingly took the first sprint by a mere 0.001s - half a tyre-width - but was relegated to runner-up after she appeared to come out of her lane following a clash of elbows around the final bend. She was also relegated in the team sprint for an illegal changeover, which denied her a chance in the final.

In the second sprint, the two came to a near-standstill early on, allowing Pendleton to steal a march - but Meares caught up with ease, and in the end won comfortably. Pendleton can draw solace from the fact she did take a gold earlier in the Games, when she won the keirin.

"I'm overwhelmed with emotion," Pendleton said to the BBC. "I would have loved to have won my final race, but I'm so glad it's all done and I can move on. I'm glad that it got to that stage, Meares is the best rider in the field, so everything turned out right. It was a fantastic event. But I'm very glad to be saying that's the last time I'm going to go through that.

"I was really annoyed to be relegated because I'm sure she touched me and it caused me to move up. Twice in one competition I've been relegated, it's unheard of. It knocked my confidence a bit, I have to say."

Laura Trott took her second gold of the Games with a dramatic, last-gasp victory in the women's omnium. Trott needed to post the quickest time in the final event, the time trial, and hope that America's Sarah Hammer was no quicker than fourth.

Trott finished at the head of the field with a blistering 35.110 seconds, and Hammer was fourth in 35.9s, meaning the Brit walked away with the gold medal.

"I can't believe this has happened to me," Trott said. "I came in feeling not as good as yesterday, because events weren't going the way I wanted them to. But to finish off like that is unbelievable."

Trott becomes the first British woman to take two cycling golds at the same Olympics.

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