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Pendrel takes mountain biking bronze

August 20, 2016 7:57 A.M.

Kamloops cyclist Catharine Pendrel managed to earn a bronze medal in mountain biking Saturday in Rio, coming back from a crash early in the race.

"At the beginning of the race with getting in a crash at the start and then my shifting stopped working and it was just like: 'Everything is going wrong,’ ” she told CBC. 

“I’m used to having bad starts, luckily, and I know I can work through a field. We had prepared for every scenario.I knew that I could close a gap and that's what I set about doing today.”

It was a triumphant moment in terms of Pendrel’s career, one she’d been waiting on for at least four years. At the London Olympic Games, Pendrell was considered a favourite to win gold since she was the world champion at the time, but wound up in ninth place. 

Racing in her third Olympics, Pendrel, 35, narrowly beat her teammate, Emily Batty of Brooklyn, Ont., to take her spot on the podium. She said that was a best-case scenario, since she knew a Canadian was going to take it, whether it was her or Batty.

“I'm just so happy it all came together in the end.”

Jenny Rissveds of Sweden won gold in Saturday’s Olympic competition, and Maja Wloszczowska of Poland picked up silver. Batty was just two seconds behind her teammate.

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