Great Britain sprinter Jess Varnish is remaining firmly focused on the ‘bigger picture’ of Olympic gold in the team sprint after her scintillating form at the London Velodrome.
Varnish produced a personal best time of 18.792 in the final as her and Victoria Pendleton set a new world record of 32.754, taking the title from silver medallists Australia after Anna Meares and Katie McCulloch had set the pace with an effort of 32.828 in qualifying.
"I don’t train for the individual sprint so everything I do is evolved around the lap so hopefully it’s paying off and I can show that I’m up to it.”
The 21-year-old complemented the result with another career high of fifth place in the individual sprint and a promising performance in the keirin, finishing twelfth. Despite the strong showing in the individual events the podium programme rider declared that her training programme and focus were fully on the team sprint, adding that their world record feat may have surprised Australia.
“People have always said ‘Jess has been a really strong man one’ and I decided to put all my energy into it," Varnish said. "I don’t train for the individual sprint so everything I do is evolved around the lap so hopefully it’s paying off and I can show that I’m up to it.”
“We didn’t expect to do a world record, I was over the moon with an 18.7 but it’s a stepping stone to the world championships and then to the Olympics. We’ve not really backed off at all on the track [in training], we didn’t expect it to go as well as it did but it just came together and as a team it worked perfectly.
“I think they did not expect what we did - we’ve really sort of put the cat amongst the pigeons. At the last world championships we got silver and we had got used to getting silver behind them. We didn’t just beat them we got a world record.
“But if we hadn’t if got the world record, we’ve just been thinking about the bigger picture because that’s what it’s all about,” Varnish added.
Next up is the track world championships where the roles will be reversed as Great Britain will be the visitors to Australia, with Varnish preferring to focus on her own performance when asked if she thought the record could fall at the Hisense Arena in Melbourne.
“Melbourne is a fast track but obviously you have got to travel half way round the world and it depends what the atmosphere and temperatures are like in there. I think if your legs are fast the track is going to be pretty fast anyway.”