Time trial wins for Hoy and Meares
ATHENS, Greece -- Chris Hoy gave Britain their first cycling medal of the Olympics when he won the 1km time trial in a Games record.
Hoy, a silver medallist in the sprint event in Sydney, completed the four laps of the velodrome in one minute 00.71 seconds, eclipsing the old Olympic record set by his team mate Jason Queally in Sydney.
He said the dozens of Britons in the crowd, screaming and waving Union Jack flags, had inspired him to victory.
"The crowd was unbelievable. We're in Athens and yet half the stadium seemed crammed with British," said Hoy, who rowed for Scotland before taking up cycling.
"To say they helped me is an understatement. At every intermediate split I heard a big roar and I thought, 'I'm ahead, I'd better keep going'.
"As a kid I watched every Olympics and I'd seen the British athletes step up on the podium and I just always wanted to be up there."
Frenchman Arnaud Tournant, four times a time trial world champion on the track, took silver in 1:00.89 while Germany's Stefan Nimke claimed bronze in 1:01.18.
Meares wins in world record time
Meanwhile, Australia's Anna Meares set a world record to win the women's 500m time trial in a race she might well have missed had it not been for an injury to her older sister.
Meares' sister Kerrie had been favourite to take Australia's berth in the race but complications arising from a fall she had in Russia two years ago meant she had to have surgery which ruled her out of the Athens Games.
Enter sister Anna, a former junior national champion who had been quietly waiting in the wings.
She started training in earnest for the Games this year and took gold in the Athens velodrome in 33.95 seconds, becoming the first woman to go under 34 seconds.
"The crowd here was electric," she said. "They were just as loud as at the world championship in Melbourne this year and they really drove me home."
China's Jiang Yonghua, who had set the previous world best of 34.00 seconds, took the silver medal in 34.11 while Natallia Tsylinskaya of Belarus, three times a time trial world champion, won bronze in 34.16.
Meares' gold in a packed velodrome came just four months after she won the world championship in Melbourne.
The 20-year-old from Queensland said she had listened to music to calm her nerves before the race -- not the pumping heavy rock favoured by many athletes but country and western.
"I tried to do my preparation away from the hype and the racing and the crowd, listening to a bit of music, keeping relaxed and just concentrating," she said.
"I've just been focusing on the race, on the start line and the finish line, and I knew that if I got that right on the day the result would take care of itself."
She said she had not yet spoken to her sister, who is training in Adelaide.
"The first person I'll speak to is my boyfriend Mark," she said.