Anna?s race dumped

By RACHAEL BORICH rachael.borich@capnews.com.au

CHANGES to the 2008 Olympic cycling program have driven Gracemere Olym- pic champion Anna Meares to tears.

The women's 500m time trial is one of two track cycling events scrapped from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, leaving Meares, 21, unable to defend her Olympic crown she captured in Athens last year.

Meares was still in disbelief about the decision when she spoke to The Morning Bulletin over the weekend from her training base in Adelaide.

"The 500 metres in Athens was amaz- ing ? I don't get to repeat that,'' said Meares, who could not fight back the tears.

"I'm so angry.''

Meares' friends have been trying to cheer up the Olympic champion, telling her at least she will always be the Olym- pic champion in that event.

"I guess that's one thing going for me, but it's still so disappointing,'' she said.

Track cycling's governing body, the UCI, has scrapped the 500m time trial and the men's one kilometre to allow for BMX to make its Olympic debut in Beij- ing, China.

The two track events will still be con- tested at World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Meares was informed of the decision at training on Saturday morning, but re- fused to believe the news.

It was not until Cycling Australia con- firmed the details that the reality sunk in.



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