Halesowen track cycling star Jess Varnish has achieved her London 2012 Olympic dream after being named in the Great British team.
The 21-year-old was yesterday confirmed in the 18-strong team for the Games and will partner Victoria Pendleton at the Velodrome on August 2 in the women’s team sprint, where the pair will be among the gold medal favourites.
That the Halesowen Cycling Club rider’s selection was in the end something of a formality is testament to the excellent progress she has made over the past 18 months, as she made the first lap position in the team sprint her own.
Varnish and Pendleton snared silver at last year’s world championships and were then crowned European champions last October, before laying down a big marker in February as they broke the world record at the London Track World Cup.
German duo Miriam Welte and Kristinathen Vogel ensured the time only stood for five weeks after they beat it at April’s World Championships, as the British duo finished fourth.
It should add up to a fascinating duel in London, where the Australian pair of Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares will also be strong.
Speaking at the unveiling of the British team in Manchester today, GB Cycling team leader Dave Brailsford said: “Jess is a young athlete who is very much on the up, this is her first time at the Olympics and it will be a big experience.
"We are very, very confident in the team sprint that the pairing is a real force to be reckoned with."