Sunday, April 08, 2012 10:13 am
Britain's Chris Hoy wins men's keirin gold
By NEIL FRANKLANDAP Sports Writer
Earlier, Australia's Anna Meares set a world record to reclaim the women's time trials title as the host nation ended the five-day tournament with the most medals and a psychological boost heading into the London Olympics.
Belgium won the final event of the meet, the men's madison, with Britain and Australia taking the silver and bronze, respectively.
With less than a quarter of a lap remaining, Hoy overtook countryman Jason Kenny and swooped between leaders Max Levy of Germany and New Zealander Simon Van Velthooven with inches to spare to claim the inside of the track and the gold medal, punching the air in celebration before climbing the barrier to celebrate with his wife Sara.
"Normally I would have gone around the outside and just put my foot down, but I hesitated too long, had one last chance," Hoy said. "I've never done that before in my life - go up the inside - and it paid off."
Meares sprinted the 500 meters of the time trial in a time of 33.010 seconds to eclipse the previous world record of 33.296 set by Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania at Pruszkow, Poland in 2009.
Miriam Welte of Germany finished second in 33.626, with Britain's Jessica Varnish third in 33.999.
Early leader Levy said he couldn't stop Hoy's late charge.
"There was nothing I could do more. I led two and a half laps from the front and normally that's enough to win the race," he said. "(Hoy) couldn't come from the outside, and that's the way I tried to race so he couldn't go from the outside, but the gap was there and he went in and that was it."
Levy took the silver and Kenny won the bronze after Van Velthooven was relegated by officials at Melbourne's Hisense Arena.
"It's the last meaningful race I'll have before the Olympic games so it's great to have that confidence boost," Hoy said.
Kenny's third place came a night after he lost the sprint final to Frenchman Gregory Bauge, heightening speculation over who will earn selection to the British Olympic team under new restrictions on competitor numbers.
Hoy, the reigning Olympic champion and 2007, 2008 and 2010 world champion, was in no hurry to contemplate potential Olympic berths.
"I want to enjoy this for what it is. This is a world championships and I'm world champion, and I'm not going to think too much about London right now," the 36-year-old said. "But it is great that that's hopefully got me qualified for the games."
Australia finished the world championships - the final major competition before the London Games - with six gold medals, six silver and three bronze ahead of rival Britain with six gold, four silver and three bronze. Germany finished third with two gold and a total of five medals.
Only five of the 10 events contested at these world championships will be held at the Olympics - the men's and women's keirin, team pursuit, individual sprint, team sprint and omnium.
Meares, who previously won the world time trials title in 2004, 2007 and 2010, earned her second winner's rainbow jersey of this meet after defending her keirin title Saturday. She won bronze in Friday's sprint.
"My form has just been phenomenal this week and I'm really pleased with how I've carried it through the five days of competition," Meares said. "There's five days of competition in London and I've got to back up every single day as though it's the first day of racing."
Alison Shanks of New Zealand won the women's individual pursuit title by beating Britain's Wendy Houvenaghel by more than two seconds.
Shanks produced a time of 3:30.199 to comfortably beat Houvenaghel on 3:32.350. Ashlee Ankudinoff beat Amy Cure for bronze in an all-Australian third-place race.