Australia’s Anna Meares is on track for a final showdown with Britain’s Victoria Pendleton after both brushed aside their quarterfinal opposition at the velodrome last night.
On a night when men’s sprinter Shane Perkins won a bronze medal for Australia, Meares and Pendleton set-up the thrilling prospect of a head-to-head battle in today’s final.
The pair has been at loggerheads for a decade as the world’s two best sprinters and with Pendleton set to retire at the end of the Games, this will be the final chapter of their rivalry.
Pendleton, who relegated Meares to a silver medal in Beijing four years ago, has already won keirin gold in the host nation’s dominant display at the London velodrome.
The Brits have won five of the seven gold medals up for grabs on the boards.
Meares had too much power for Ukraine’s Lyubov Shulika in two straight wins in the quarterfinals and Pendleton powered to victory against Olga Panarina of Bulgaria without the need for a third race.
Although both have recently tried to play down their rivalry, a final day showdown is what both had been hoping for and will be lapped up by the home crowd.
Meares will race against China’s Shuang Guo in semifinals today (11pm WA time) and Pendleton faces Germany’s Kristina Vogel.
In the women’s omnium, a multi-event discipline introduced to the Olympics for the first time, Australia’s Annette Edmondson made a good early start finishing third in the 250m flying start.
Britain’s Laura Trott was first and France’s Clara Sanchez was second.
Edmondson was 11th in the 20km points race and was third in the elimination race to sit third overall, behind Sarah Hammer and Britain’s Laura Trott, who heads the pack.
The women’s omnium will conclude today with the 3km individual pursuit, 10km scratch race and 500m time trial.