Meares on the road to Olympics
A GREEN and gold banner in the crowd at Melbourne's Hisense Arena track said it all: "World fears our Meares".
Rockhampton cycling star Anna Meares has her sights firmly on the London Olympics after a world-record breaking performance at the world championships in Melbourne.
On the final night of racing on Sunday, Meares set the track alight with a golden ride in the women's 500m time trial, almost becoming the first woman to break the 33 second barrier.
Meares, the first woman to go under 34 seconds, came within one hundredth of a second of becoming the first to break the 33 second barrier, taking back the world record she lost in 2009 with a lightning 33.010 seconds.
The 28-year-old finished her home world titles campaign with two gold after a thrilling victory in the keirin on Saturday night, two world records which also included Thursday's flying 200m, a team sprint silver with Australian team-mate Kaarle McCulloch, and bronze in the sprint.
Speaking to The Morning Bulletin yesterday, Meares said she was looking forward to a well-earned week's rest before turning her full attention to chasing more gold in London.
"I'm looking forward to getting in the garden and walking the dog," she laughed.
Despite the 500m time trial not being an Olympic event, Meares has signalled her intentions loud and clear to her main rivals.
Sunday night's world record breaking victory was her fourth time trial world title, her 10th world crown in total, and reclaimed the record she first set when winning gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
"There was no pressure and no expectation and I just let it rip," Meares said.
"I was a little bit shocked. I didn't think it would be that fast."
In emotional scenes after the event, Meares embraced former coach Ken "Reggie" Tucker (see story Page 3) before finding her family and friends from back home in CQ in the sell-out crowd.
"I was sought of lost in the moment. I've never been in front of a crowd so loud before," she said.
"I couldn't believe how loud the crowd was for me. It was something special, 10th world title in the event where it all began for me eight years ago."
Meares, who will contest the sprint, team sprint and keirin events in London, said she was pleased with her form heading into the Olympics.
"Looking back now, I'm really happy just with the level of consistency I had over the five days."