The two-time Olympic champion Meares leads the Australian track team for Rio


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SYDNEY (AFP) – Eleven-time world champion Anna Meares leads a medal-hungry Australian cycling team for the Olympic Games, with the track star aiming for a third gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Meares will compete in the team sprint with Olympic debutante Stephanie Morton and will also compete in the Keirin to defend her sprint title in London 2012.

“It feels really good to make it to my fourth game,” said Meares, who set a new gold medal record by winning the women’s keirin at the Track Words in France earlier this year.

“It (Rio) was the only event I wanted to do to London and although it’s been a long way, I know the next few weeks to Rio will fly by.

“I think I’ll go to Rio in the best physical shape I’ve ever had in my career and I’m ready to do my absolute best for this team and my country.”

Meares, 32, becomes only the third female cyclist in Olympic history to take part in four Olympic Games on the track and is enthusiastic about the abundance of talent and gold medal opportunities for the team.

“Our sprint team will be very strong in Rio. I had a lot to do with the budding Rio sprint athletes and I really enjoyed the experience, ”said Meares, who will be referred to as Australia’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony on August 5th.

“I also think that there are exciting times ahead for both the men’s and women’s endurance teams.”

Up-and-coming star Pat Constable will team up with the world’s best sprinter Matthew Glaetzer in the men’s sprint, while London Olympian Annette Edmondson will lead the women’s pursuit team.

Edmondson’s brother Alex will join her in Rio after being called to the men’s long distance team.

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