London 2012

Hoy heroics seal gold

Pendleton misses out on medal in women's sprint

Last Updated: 18/02/12 11:05pm

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Sir Chris Hoy: Brilliant performance to take the gold in the Keirin

Sir Chris Hoy: Brilliant performance to take the gold in the Keirin

Sir Chris Hoy once again illustrated his supreme dominance in the Keirin with a sensational victory on day three of the Track World Cup at London's Olympic Velodrome.

Hoy claimed his first gold medal at the 2012 Games venue as Great Britain took their tally to three golds and one bronze from six Olympic events ahead of Sunday's final day.

Victoria Pendleton missed out on a medal in the sprint, finishing fourth, with Ben Swift sixth in the multi-event omnium.

Joanna Rowsell added gold in the non-Olympic individual pursuit, taking her second victory after winning the team pursuit on day two.

Hoy, aiming to add to his haul of four Olympic golds in August, said: "I was quite chuffed. What a buzz to win in front of this crowd when you cross the line - it was phenomenal.

"It doesn't feel like a World Cup, it feels more important."

The 35-year-old Scot is the Olympic champion and three times a world champion in the event which begins behind a motor-paced Derny and picked up his second medal of the competition after bronze in the team sprint.

Hoy had plenty to do on the final lap, but surged through the field to win ahead of Germany's Rene Enders, who was second, and third-placed Mickael Bourgain of France.

Need for speed

Hoy admitted he had to revert to plan B to dodge through and win - setting a career high speed in the process.

He added: "I had to choose the moment to go and when you go, you give it everything.

"I believe I hit 78.1 kilometres an hour in that race, and that's the highest I've ever hit in a Keirin race before. You can't ask for more than that."

Hoy is set to go in hunt of further success on Sunday's final day in the individual sprint, an event in which he faces a challenge to secure his Olympic place ahead of team-mate Jason Kenny.

However, the Keirin is his favoured discipline and he appears unstoppable.

Hoy added: "There's always a possibility you can lose, you never go into a Keirin and expect to win. There's so much going on around you, there's danger."

Hoy was thrilled to win in a less familiar ducking-and-diving style as he usually surges as soon as the Derny leaves the track with three and a half laps to go.

"It's not normally something I do but every race you should try something different so you can learn if it works or doesn't," he said.

"I could have gone from the front but I'm trying to race with other tactics. It's nice to win from all positions."

Pendleton misses out

Pendleton faced a severe test to win a second gold of the event after victory in the team sprint in a world record alongside Jess Varnish.

After qualifying fourth and fifth fastest and negotiating the first knockout round, the Britons met in the quarter-finals, with Olympic champion Pendleton advancing.

Varnish claimed some notable scalps to finish fifth overall, while a familiar foe awaited Pendleton in the last four - world champion and Beijing silver medallist Anna Meares of Australia.

Pendleton levelled the duel at 1-1 before Meares claimed the deciding bout.

Perhaps both Pendleton and Meares were fatigued by their duel as both finished second best in the finals - the Briton beaten to bronze by Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze 2-1 and China's Guo Shuang, the Beijing bronze medallist, claiming a 2-0 win over the Australian to take gold.

Pendleton said: "That was a good day's training. I haven't really done a lot of sprint tactical training yet. That's the next phase between now and the worlds and the Olympics especially.

"I know there's a lot more to come."

Pendleton believes the team sprint effort, when she and Varnish beat Meares and her Australia team-mate Kaarle McCulloch, had an impact.

"I don't think you break a world record without taking a little bit out of yourself," she added.

"That performance yesterday was way beyond what I expected. You can't go to sleep buzzing after doing a performance like that and expect to be tip-top the next morning."

Swift's win in the scratch race was the highlight of his inconsistent omnium, while Rowsell clocked three minutes 32.364 seconds to win the pursuit ahead of New Zealand's Alison Shanks.

Laura Trott was third halfway through the omnium, ending the evening on a high with victory in the elimination race.

Hoy, Pendleton and Trott are among those in action on Sunday, with the men's team pursuit final, featuring an 'Ashes' duel between Britain and Australia, poised to be another highlight of an already-memorable programme.

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