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Hepburn wins pursuit, Meares defends keirin title

By NEIL FRANKLAND,

AP Sports Writer

Updated April 7, 2012

(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Michael Hepburn outpaced fellow Australian and world record-holder Jack Bobridge to claim the individual pursuit title at the world track cycling championships on Saturday.

Hepburn, who qualified fastest earlier in the day, beat Bobridge by more than half a second.

New Zealand's Westley Gough spoiled the home riders' hopes of an all-Australian podium by beating Rohan Dennis for the bronze.

"We were all really keen to go 1-2-3 today, but unfortunately we didn't do it," Hepburn said. "But (Dennis) still had a great ride, he did two great times and I think he should be happy with himself."

Anna Meares of Australia won a hard-fought sprint in the final meters to defend her women's keirin title.

Meares reeled in the early breakaways to surge to the front of the pack in the final meters. Ekaterina Gnidenko of Russia was second with Germany's Kristina Vogel third.

Earlier, Victoria Pendleton was eliminated from the keirin a day after claiming the sprint title.

The Olympic champion beat defending world champion Meares in the sprint semifinals Friday night after crashing in one heat and profiting from an official intervention in another.

"It doesn't make up for last night, it makes today special," Meares said.

Laura Trott of Britain claimed her second winner's rainbow jersey at Melbourne's Hisense Arena when she won the final event of the multidiscipline omnium.

Trott - a member of Britain's title-winning team pursuit squad on Thursday - held off Annette Edmonson to win the omnium individual time trial and seal the six-discipline event by three points ahead of the Australian. Sarah Hammer of the United States took the bronze.

"I didn't expect to win and I thought maybe I could pick up a medal," Trott said. "But to win, I mean, what more can I ask for?"

The omnium makes its debut as an Olympic medal event at the London Games.

Frenchman Gregory Bauge won the men's sprint in contentious circumstances after Britain's Jason Kenny had his win overturned in the second heat.

After Bauge took a highly tactical first heat, Kenny made an early break in the second and held on to force a decider. But after several minutes of deliberation, officials ruled Kenny crossed the sprint line and reversed the outcome.

Chris Hoy won the bronze when he beat Australia's Shane Perkins in consecutive rides.

The world championships also serve as Olympic qualifiers, and changes to the qualification process dictate that each nation can only have one representative in the sprint events at London.

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