Anna Meares shooting for a Glasgow touchdown

Australia’s queen of the track, Anna Meares, has turned to American football to try and give her an edge at the Commonwealth Games.
Australia’s queen of the track, Anna Meares, has turned to American football to try and give her an edge at the Commonwealth Games. LUIS ACOSTAAFP

CYCLING: Golden girl Anna Meares will take the unusual step of studying the body language of NFL players to give her an edge over rivals at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Queenslander, who will defend the three gold medals she won at the last Games in India in 2010, said reading the body language of opponents in the sport of track cycling could be the difference between finishing on the podium, or not.

"I got my husband right into it as well," she told APN. "I love observing how the NFL players try to read what their opponents are going to do next. That's a large part of what we do on the track - you go in with a plan, but also a Plan B, C, D and E.

"You're always looking for ways to exploit your opponents."

Meares had a long break from the sport after the London Olympics in 2012, but showed she was close to her best by winning silver medals in the 500m time trial and keirin during the world championships in Colombia earlier this year.

The 30-year-old admitted it would feel strange not having to pour so much energy into trying to exploit Brit Victoria Pendleton's weaknesses in Glasgow, after the retirement of her fierce rival following the London Games.

But she acknowledged fellow Brit Becky James would prove a worthy replacement for Pendleton.

James won gold in the sprint and keirin at the 2013 world championships, and the two will square off in both those disciplines in Glasgow, as well as the 500m time trial.

"Becky will be very tough to beat - she came very close to beating me at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi," Meares said.

While the Aussie said her immediate focus was on Glasgow, she also said she had one eye on the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and also on next year's world championships where one more gold medal would give her a total of 11, making her the most successful female track cyclist in


"Competing at the big events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, it's addictive," she said.

"My husband has a 9-5 job and he said 'you're a long time retired'.

"I'd love to get the world championships record, but if I think too much about it, it won't happen."

Topics:  anna meares commonwealth games editors picks glasgow commonwealth games nfl

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