Hepburn wins pursuit, Meares defends keirin title

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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 qualified fastest earlier in the day and 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.

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.

Pendleton scraped through early qualifying and advanced via the repechage round, only to finish sixth and last in her second-round heat.

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

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 Britain's title-winning team pursuit 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.

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

Jason Kenny qualified for the sprint berth on the British Olympic squad after beating Chris Hoy to reach the finals.

Kenny won a fierce contest against Olympic champion Hoy in the first heat of the best-of-three semifinals and sealed his finals spot with an assured ride in the second.

He will face Gregory Bauge in the gold medal ride after the Frenchman produced some clever tactics to easily outpace Shane Perkins of Australia 2-0.

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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