LONDON: Chris Hoy brought the curtain down on Britain’s dominant track cycling campaign in style but Australia’s Anna Meares denied Victoria Pendleton a golden farewell.
Hoy’s second gold of the Games gave him his sixth Olympic title from a career which began with silver in Sydney, and sees him surpass Steve Redgrave as Britain’s most successful Olympian. It took the virtually unstoppable British track team’s gold tally to an impressive seven from 10 finals, equalling their record haul from Beijing.
Had it not been for Meares, it could well have been eight. The 29-year-old Australian came into the Games dreaming of beating her nemesis Pendleton, the defending Olympic and six-time world champion, on the biggest stage of them all. And in a controversial but enthralling sprint final, the Queenslander outfoxed the 31-year-old Englishwoman in the second race after Pendleton had been relegated after winning a close first duel win for an infringement.
Hoy, meanwhile, went off to consider his future on a rather cheerier note after dominating the keirin field to defend his title from Beijing, having won the team sprint last week. The 36-year-old Scot passed Redgrave’s tally of five gold medals, all of which were won in consecutive Games.
“I’m 99.9% sure that I won’t be in Rio,” said Hoy. “This is the perfect end to my Olympic career. I feel amazing. I’m relieved that it’s over.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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