9:03am Wednesday 8th August 2012
JESS Varnish intends to use her London disappointment as motivation for future glory.
The 21-year-old Bromsgrove cycling star has spoken of the “sickening” moment she and team-mate Victoria Pendleton were disqualified from last Thursday’s women’s team sprint.
But the Halesowen Cycling Club member has vowed to bounce back and is already thinking of Rio 2016.
With Pendleton having retired after yesterday’s individual sprint, Varnish knows the door is now open for her to really make a mark.
She said: “I’m 21 and have got the rest of my career ahead of me. “Rio is a massive goal now. This is the start of my Olympic career not the end.
“I feel really excited about being able to focus on my individual events. “I believe I can be an all right sprinter and I’m looking forward to focusing on it properly.”
Varnish and Pendleton’s disqualification, for an illegal changeover, saw them denied a spot in the gold medal race against China.
The pair had shown themselves to be in great form, having broken the world record in their first ride.
Varnish says she will never watch replays of the moment their hopes were lost.
She said: “I have no issue with the decision even though I don’t intend ever looking at the video, it would just break my heart.
“The change didn’t feel quite right and it was a sickening feeling immediately afterwards knowing what might be coming.
“I can’t tell you how upsetting it was and for all sorts of reasons. “We were riding so well there really was a possibility of gold, it would have been such a thrill to ride in that race.
“And then it really started to sink in. “Not only weren’t we in the final with a guaranteed silver medal, we were out of the competition totally.
“We had broken a world record and finished as also-rans. “My Olympics was over, Vicky’s dream of three golds was gone. I just felt awful.”
Pendleton, who erased her team sprint disappointment within 24 hours by claiming keirin gold in front of a supporting Varnish, believes the Bromsgrove flyer will continue where she has left off.
She said: “I’m just desperately disappointed for Jess.
“She has done an incredible job in getting this far, her team sprint was the best of her life here.
“This is the end for me but just the beginning for Jess. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity for her and to experience what it’s like to make the most of a Games environment.
“I am 100 per cent sure Jess will go into Rio and absolutely smash it.”
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