I'll be back: Heartbroken Varnish vows to return stronger after Olympic dream dies
17:50 GMT, 3 August 2012
A 'completely devastated' Jess Varnish vowed to bounce back from her Olympic heartache in time after being denied the chance to ride for gold on the opening night of action at the London 2012 Velodrome.
A takeover infringement saw Varnish and Victoria Pendleton relegated from the two-woman, two-lap team sprint, just after they believed they had advanced to the gold medal race with China, who in turn were denied victory for a similar incident in the final as Germany triumphed.
The elimination ended Varnish's Olympics, with Pendleton competing in the two individual disciplines, and the 21-year-old from Bromsgrove believes she will need to speak to British Cycling sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters for some time to come.
Hard to take: Jess Varnish hugs Victoria Pendleton after they were relegated from the team sprint first round
She said: 'It's going to take me a long time to grieve over it and I am completely heartbroken.
'But I've got to look ahead. We did our best and that's all we can do. A minute mistake cost us.
'We broke the record and it was just one of those things.
Going well: Varnish (front) and Pendleton compete in the Velodrome
'I focused completely on that lap – it was the only way I saw myself getting here, the 2012 Olympics in my home country.
'I didn't come away with a medal, but I did my very best. I got here and I'm proud of that.
'I'm sure I'll be speaking to him (Peters) for a long time. It's not going to be easy to get over it, but there's a lot more to life.'
The distraught British pair returned to the Olympic Village last night and discussed the incident before Pendleton, who is set to retire after London 2012, refocused on the keirin and individual sprint, which begins on Sunday.
Relegated: The British pair won their semi-final but broke the takeover rules when Pendleton overlapped Varnish's wheel too early
Varnish added: 'We discussed it. We were both completely gutted for one another.
'Now I've got to be there for Vicky and support her. She's got to go out with a bang and I believe she's going to – she's in fantastic form.
'She was very upset as well because we were riding very well yesterday.'
All over: Varnish reacts as she sees her Olympic dream vanish
Pendleton predicted Varnish will recover from the setback in time for the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.
Varnish added: '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.'