Pendleton strikes gold

06 April 2012 / 14:35

Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton regained her Track Cycling World Championships sprint title in dramatic fashion in Melbourne.

Pendleton claimed a 2-0 final win over Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite to win the title for a sixth time after successes in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The Briton won the first of the best-of-three final before Krupeckaite was disqualified for impeding in the second match - handing Pendleton victory.

It was her ninth world title in all, with one keirin - an event in which she is set to ride on Saturday - and two team sprint wins to her name.

The key to victory was a stunning come-from-behind semi-final triumph over defending champion Anna Meares of Australia - a duel which was full of drama and proved Pendleton's determination for glory at the London Olympics is far from diminished.

Pendleton, who intends to retire after August's Olympic track programme, lost control and crashed in the first bout - suffering track burn to her right shoulder, elbow and hip - before being granted a reprieve in the second as Meares was adjudged to have impeded her opponent by going outside the sprinters' lane.

The officials' decision set up a deciding contest, which Meares led out on the last of three laps, but Pendleton responded by accelerating around her rival and won in a photo-finish.

After four successive sprint wins, Beijing gold medallist Pendleton was third in Apeldoorn in 2011, but now she is on top of the world once more.

Meares, who demonstrated her supreme form by breaking the world record in qualifying, won the ride-off for bronze with a 2-0 success over Ukraine's Lyubov Shulika.