Pendleton slams Olympic officials

VICTORIA Pendleton took a swipe at Olympic officials after the bizarre Beijing schedule prevented the pin-up of British cycling landing multiple golds. While fellow Brit Chris Hoy landed treble Beijing gold and Bradley Wiggins topped the podium twice, Pen

VICTORIA Pendleton took a swipe at Olympic officials after the bizarre Beijing schedule prevented the pin-up of British cycling landing multiple golds.

While fellow Brit Chris Hoy landed treble Beijing gold and Bradley Wiggins topped the podium twice, Pendleton was left with just one sprint event to compete in during her Far East adventure.

Pendleton won three gold medals at the world championships earlier this year in Manchester but competed in four separate sprint disciplines.

Due to the truncated Olympic schedule in China, just one of those events appeared in Beijing - leaving Pendleton fuming at the restriction of her trade.


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While Wiggins missed out on a historic third gold medal at the Laoshan velodrome, Pendleton could not afford to mess up on her one shot at Olympic glory.

And drinking in the last chance salon, Pendleton did not disappoint continuing Britain's Great Haul of China at the velodrome.

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"To only have just one event and to also only have one risky event - meant the pressure I was under was unbelievable," said Pendleton. "I knew it was always the case - but it is unfair I guess.

"At the world championships there are four sprint events for women to compete in but at the Olympics - it's just the one. "It made life very tough for me because I knew I had to get it right, exactly right; there was no room for errors or miscalculations in Beijing. "It would have been fantastic to have another opportunity because I think I could have won more. "I'm in such good shape, I know I could have won two or three gold medals but for the time being I'm just happy with what I've got.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed that at the London 2012 Games, I might get the opportunity to race in another sprint event; who knows?"

Pendleton is still coming to terms with fulfilling her lifetime's ambition of landing Olympic gold and admitted she plans to party hard in Beijing after enjoying her track success.

And the 27-year-old Stotfold star admitted she was really feeling the pressure after Britain's gold rush kept going and going in Beijing.

"I don't carry my medal with me wherever I go, it's safely wrapped up at home, it's rather heavy," admitted Pendleton.

"I'm planning on having a late night so I'd hate to lose the gold medal having worked so hard to get it in the first place.

"It has been a fairly surreal since I won my gold. I'd been watching the other track guys and girls doing so well all Games - and to be honest I found it very tough.

"All that waiting around and with every medal the British team secured - I felt the pressure started to get more and more.

"On the podium I thought I was going to be an emotional mess but the whole experience was so strange, so peculiar that I don't think it's all sunk in yet.

"It sounds so strange, Victoria Pendleton - Beijing Olympic gold medallist.

"It has been crazy - so hard to believe that not only I've won gold but also how brilliantly the whole squad has got on, we've been unstoppable.

"I was pinching myself yesterday and thinking - I couldn't have asked for any more either from a personal or from a team perspective."

Team GB blew the rest of the world away on the track with Pendleton's sprint gold the icing on the cake.

And while Dave Brailsford is happy to take the plaudits for putting together the team behind the team, he insists there is only so much the coaching squad can do and the rest is down to the natural talent of Pendleton and co.

"Obviously, we need the raw talent like Victoria," he continued. "We are in the business of thoroughbreds, so give us a donkey and we won't go anywhere.

"It goes against the grain of traditional thinking but we're just here as expert advisers. We do not dictate and Victoria and the others respond to that.

"It is absolutely the best British team that's ever left our shores."

Lloyds TSB, proud first partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB on their journey to 2012. Visit www.LloydsTSB.com/London2012

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