Olympics: Victoria Pendleton bounces back in style with keirin success

World records for men's and women's British pursuit teams at London 2012.

Victoria Pendleton celebrates her gold medal triumph in the women's keirin race. Jamie Squire / Getty Images
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Britain's Victoria Pendleton claimed gold in the keirin event at the Olympics on Friday, making up for a disappointing start to her home Games.

Pendleton, who was disqualified from the team sprint with Jessica Varnish on Thursday for an illegal takeover, produced an impressive amount of power to claim her second Olympic medal four years after winning the individual sprint in Beijing.

China's Guo Shuang took silver after Pendleton resisted her rival's late surge in the home straight.

Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze took bronze, while world champion and pre-Olympics favourite Anna Meares of Australia had to settle for fifth.

Pendleton had moved to the front with a lap to go, and she acknowledged that she had raced on instinct rather than sticking to her original game plan.

She told the BBC: "I can barely believe it right now. I think Jan [van Eijden, Pendleton's coach] will have something to say about my tactics but he told me not to look for their race, when it's your moment just go.

"I really wanted to show what I could do and it worked out well."

She will have the chance to claim a third Olympic medal in the individual sprint, which begins tomorrow.

"I'm really looking forward to the sprint," she said.

"I'm hoping my time-trial will be a little bit more special than it's been over the last couple of years, I've been working on it a lot and I'm hoping that the sprint – I've got a good chance there."

Her success capped a strong night for the home nation at the Games, as both the men's and women's team pursuit squads set new world records in their competitions.

The men's quartet of Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas led throughout as they defeated Australia in the men's final with a time of 3 mins 52.743 secs, which lowered further the world record time that they had set in the qualifying heat on Thursday for the final.

Kennaugh said: "We were sure [we could go faster than on Thursday]. We were amazed at the time we did in qualifying and when there's another team pushing you always go faster again."

The women's team pursuit finals takes place today and Britain will be favourite after the trio of Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell setting a new world best of 3 mins 15.669 secs.


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