Australian sprint queen Anna Meares has become the most prolific women's track cycling world champion in history by claiming her 11th gold medal at the UCI Track World Championships in Paris.
By
AAP

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

The 31-year-old Australian won gold in the keirin on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT) at France's new national velodrome.

Dutch rider Shanne Braspennincx took the silver and Cuba's Lisandra Guerra was third.

Meares went to the front of the group of five with a lap to go and was simply too strong for her rivals.

"Very happy, little bit emotional, very proud. It has been a tough run, but it has been a lot of fun," Meares said after the race.

"Honestly, I don't remember the final, I honestly can't tell you what I did, but I won.

"I have been in this position (world champion) many times before, but it has been a long time since I have been up there," added Meares.

"This tells me that I have to work just as hard, have to earn it as much as anyone else, and I did that today. I worked hard, I fought hard, and I earned it and I am really proud of myself."


Fellow Australian Stephanie Morton should have been in the final with Meares but got a puncture on the first lap.

Under the rules of the race Morton wasn't allowed to line up in the restart that followed.

She appeared close to tears as she left the track.

On the verge of making history all week, Meares had to wait until the final of her four events to claim the much-anticipated 11th rainbow jersey, after claiming bronze in the team sprint and silver in the 500m time trial on the opening days of competition.

Meares entered this week's world championships with 10 titles - the same number as France's Felicia Ballanger.

Ballanger won the sprint and 500m time trial and five consecutive world championships from 1995 before retiring from international competition after the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

But Meares now stands alone atop the individual medal table.

Earlier this week Meares insisted she wasn't focused on claiming a record 11th title.

"Everyone's got their eye on it except me," the dual-Olympic gold medallist told AAP.

"I'm just out there racing and trying to perform at my absolute best."

The Queensland-born rider has now won 26 world championships medals including 11 gold, eight silver and six bronze.

The sprint sensation also has two Olympic gold titles.

She won the 500m time trial in Athens in 2004 and the sprint against arch rival Victoria Pendleton in London in 2012.