The Olympic sprint champion Anna Meares, who famously beat the acceleration of a Porsche, has retired from cycling following her sixth Olympic medal - a bronze at Rio.
The Australian told Channel 9: “Obviously a lot of people have been wondering where I’m going to go to post Rio and, with some reflection, I’ve decided that I’m actually going to retire.”
She is the country’s most successful Olympian, her four Games career beginning with gold in the 500m time trial and bronze in the sprint in Athens in 2004.
She managed silver in the Beijing sprint despite breaking her neck just seven months before.
She said: ““Having looked back and seen all the things that I have achieved and assessed some of the injuries that I have had to manage going into Rio.
“Most people were unaware just to get to Rio I had six cortisone injections through my spine.
“Having had to change tack for six months leading into it and to achieve the things I have, I feel satisfied and happy to step aside from the sport and try something new and different.
“I didn’t get a fairy tale ending [to these Olympic Games] but I had a good ending,” she said.
Earlier this year we reported how Meares showed just how powerful her acceleration is – by taking on a Porsche Boxster in a segment filmed for an Australian TV show, and winning.
The 11-time world champion – four of those titles coming in the 500m sprint – can accelerate from 30kph to 60kph in just three seconds, according to 60 Minutes Australia, which arranged the challenge.
Up against TV presenter Peter Stefanovic who was at the wheel of the 300 brake horsepower sports car, Meares took on the Porsche over 80 metres from a rolling start … and left it trailing.
The cyclist versus sports car duel came just two months to go until the Rio Olympics.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.