Champion cyclist Meares retires


Australian cycling champion Anna Meares has announced her retirement from the sport, effective immediately.

There was hope that six-time Olympics medallist Meares would carry on through to the 2018 Commonwealth Games after representing Australia at Rio 2016 - carrying the flag at the opening ceremony in the process - but she called time on an illustrious career on Sunday.

Arguably Australia's most decorated cyclist, Meares won two gold, one silver and three bronze medals in Olympic competition, having finished third in the women's keirin in August.

The 33-year-old - a veteran of four Olympics highlighted by her famous sprint victory ahead of rival Victoria Pendleton in London in 2012 - also claimed 11 world championship gold medals, five Commonwealth Games golds and a staggering 35 national titles.

"With some time in reflection I have decided that I am actually going to retire," Meares said on Channel Nine.

"The reason that I took some time to myself after Rio, I wanted to get over some of the emotions attached with the Olympic Games.

"A big factor was if I would ride on to a Commonwealth Games.

"Having looked back and seen what I have achieved and assessed some of the injuries I had going into Rio I feel satisfied and happy to step aside from the sport and try something new and difference.

"I have been able to achieve so many wonderful things, more than most. I am the most successful for women in my sport in the field.

"When I was told that as a 11-year-old when I was pushing off the bike in the streets I probably would have screwed up my nose."