Pendleton: My greatest win
Keirin gold medallist delighted to prove the doubters wrong
Last Updated: 04/08/12 11:12am
Victoria Pendleton: Back on top of the world after team sprint woe
Victoria Pendleton has labelled her Olympic keirin triumph as the greatest moment of her sporting career.
Pendleton was left in tears of despair on Thursday after Britain were relegated in the team sprint but bounced back with a gold medal ride just 24 hours later.
The keirin was meant to be Pendleton's Achilles heel - she had claimed only one world title compared to six in the individual sprint - but she won her heat and semi-final before edging out China's Guo Shuang in the final.
And the 31-year-old, who won the individual sprint title in Beijing four years ago, had no hesitation in announcing that the victory was her finest ever on the track.
"This is the greatest moment in my career so far," said Pendleton, who is set to retire after attempting to defend her sprint title.
"A lot of people thought I'd passed my best and I just wanted to prove them wrong, so this does feel pretty good.
Victoria Pendleton Quotes of the week
"I think a lot of people kind of wrote me off after 2011. I had a really rubbish year. Injury, personal 'issues', family issues, a lot of things that just nearly made me give up.
"A lot of people thought I'd passed my best and I just wanted to prove them wrong, so this does feel pretty good."
Her bid for a hat-trick of golds went up in smoke on Thursday when she and Jess Varnish were penalised for a technical infringement, but Pendleton always knew she stood a good chance of redemption.
She added: "All I did was take the fact that my form yesterday was excellent - I was by far the fastest second lap here.
"It was a personal best from me in both rides, so I knew my legs were the best they have ever been in my entire life, so how could I not come into this and really give it a great shot?"
World champion Anna Meares led shortly after the departure of the motorised Derny bike but faded to fifth on the final lap.
"The plan was a good one but I just didn't execute it very well," the Australian said.
"I was expecting the best Vicky. She's bounced back from the team sprint. I face the same challenge now leading into the sprint and I'll be up for it."
Meares also denied being adversely effected by the partisan crowd, three of whom were ejected on Thursday.
But she added: "I am surprised there are so many British in the crowd. I thought the ticket distribution would be a little more even."