Sports News

Aussie Meares misses Pendleton rivalry despite gold

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Anna Meares led an Australian clean sweep of golds on the first day of cycling at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday but rued the absence of her British rival Victoria Pendleton.

The Queenslander cruised to victory at the Indira Gandhi indoor stadium to retain the 500m time trial title she won by beating Pendleton at the 2006 Games in Melbourne.

Pendleton, who gained her revenge by beating Meares to the sprint gold at the Beijing Olympics, opted to give Delhi a miss to focus on November’s European Championships, where qualification points are available for the 2012 London Olympics.

“It’s a shame that Victoria hasn’t come here, I would have loved a rematch,” the 27-year-old said.

The victory allowed her to match her sister Kerrie’s tally of two Commonwealth Games gold medals and her Games record time was the third improvement in a row by a Meares.

“Earlier records were set by me in the 2006 Games and before that in 2002 in Manchester by my sister Kerrie, so this record has stayed in our family,” Anna said.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Delhi; editing by Justin Palmer