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Pendleton, Meares sail into keirin second round

LONDON (AFP) — Great Britain’s Victoria Pendleton sailed into the second round of the inaugural Olympic women’s keirin Friday after coming from the back to beat Australian rival Anna Meares in her heat.

The top two riders from each heat qualify directly for the second round, which, following a series of repechages, leads on to the final.

Joining Meares and Pendleton were China’s Guo Shuang, a silver medal winner in the women’s team sprint on Thursday, Germany’s team sprint champion Kristina Vogel, Russia’s Ekaterina Gnidenko and Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite.

Pendleton started in first position in her heat, but found herself at the back of the group soon after the derny pulled off the track with 2.5 laps remaining. She burst up the outside in the final lap, however, and passed Meares ahead of the line.

Meares, who won team sprint bronze with teammate Kaarle McCulloch on Thursday, has won the last two world titles in the discipline.

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