IMAGE|| 2002 Commonwealth Games Kerrie Meares (left) and Anna.
Fifteen years today, August 1, 2002 we witnessed the start of the Meares sisters Commonwealth Games cycling dynasty and a rivalry between the Meares sisters and England’s Victoria Pendleton.
At the last four Commonwealth Games, two sisters, Kerrie and Anna Meares have dominated women’s track cycling. Now both retired they won’t stand on the dais at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but the Meares name will still be present with the cycling competition conducted in the Brisbane Anna Meares Velodrome.
Kerrie Meares, one year older than Anna, launched the family dominance winning the inaugural 500m Track Time Trial at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. Fifteen years and four Games later, only Meares sisters have won this event.
In the 2002 race, Anna Meares and Victoria Pendleton finished just off the podium in fourth and fifth places respectively. In the Individual Sprint, Kerrie defeated Victoria in the semi-final, going on to win the gold over Canada’s Lori-Ann Muenzer. Pendleton was relegated to the bronze medal race, which she lost to Anna.
The event launched a rivalry between Pendleton and the Meares’ sisters.
Four years on at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games the rivalry was at a peak with the three cyclists winning all the medals in the Individual Sprint and 500m Time Trial. Pendleton defeated Anna in the Individual Sprint final, with Kerrie winning the bronze. In the 500m Time Trial, Pendleton broke the Games record, but one minute later Anna was faster by 0.022 seconds, taking the record and the gold medal. Kerrie won the bronze.
In Delhi 2010, Anna totally dominated, winning three gold medals – the Individual Sprint, 500m Time Trial and combining with Kaarle McCulloch for the Team Sprint title. Anna’s sister Kerrie had retired in 2007 and Victoria had skipped the Games to compete in the European Championships which carried Rio Olympic qualification points.
Anna was not finished yet.
Going to her fourth Games in Glasgow 2014 where she would again win medals. She was unable to defended her Individual sprint crown, defeated by team mate Stephanie Morton, however she won the silver medal, her fourth consecutive medal in this event and in the 500m Time Trial she won her third consecutive gold.
With six gold medals, two silver and one bronze, Anna Meares is the most decorated cyclist in Commonwealth Games history.
MOST MEDALS – Commonwealth Games Cycling
Anna Meares (AUS) 6G, 2S, 1B = 9 Total
Brad McGee (AUS) 4G, 1S, 1B = 6 Total
Jocelyn Lovell (CAN) 4G, 1S, 1B = 6 Total
Ryan Bayley (AUS) 4G, 0S, 1B = 5 Total
David Tarbotton for the CGA