Anna Meares is Australia’s sole remaining medal hope after streaking into the semi-finals at the Laoshan Velodrome tonight. Meares, 24, had a strong day yesterday and followed that up this evening by beating France’s Clara Sanchez in the first two heats of the best-of-three quarter-finals.
In the event affectionately known as the cat and mouse, Meares won the first heat comfortably before Sanchez fought tooth and nail in the second, only to lose by a whisker.
Meares will face home favourite Shuang Guo in the semi-final tomorrow…
In the other semi-final, Great Britain’s world champion Victoria Pendleton will face the Netherland’s Willy Kanis.
That means the mouth-watering propsect of an Australia-Great Britain final could be on, at a time where the two countries are fighting for third place in the medal table.
Meares was only millimetres from permanent disablement after fracturing her C2 veterbrae in a shocking fall in Los Angeles in January.
Last night, she broke Victorian Michelle Ferris’s flying 200m qualifying record with a personal best of 11.140secs.
The Athens gold medallist then franked her performance in the first round by demolishing Yvonne Hijgenaar, taking the lap at the bell and streaking clear to secure her place in the quarters.
Earlier tonight in the women’s points race, former world champion Kate Bates finished sixth on day four of the Olympic track cycling program.
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands tool gold, while Cuban Yoanka Gonzalez took the silver.
Span’s Leire Olaberria finished third.