Skip to main content

Olympics: Jason Kenny wins gold in men’s Keirin by flying out of the field early

Image 1 of 18

Britains Jason Kenny celebrates taking gold in the mens track cycling keirin final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome in Izu Japan on August 8 2021 Photo by Odd ANDERSEN AFP Photo by ODD ANDERSENAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 2 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 08 Jason Kenny of Team Great Britain celebrates winning the gold medal while holding the flag of his country during the Mens Keirin final 16th place of the track cycling on day sixteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 08 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Jason Kenny celebrates after winning gold in the men's keirin (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 3 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Jack Carlin of Team Great Britain sprints during the Mens Keirin first round heat 2 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Jack Carlin (Great Britain) tracks Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) in the keirin round 1 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 4 of 18

Canadas Hugo Barrette reacts after crashed in the mens track cycling keirin first round heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome in Izu Japan on August 7 2021 Photo by Odd ANDERSEN AFP Photo by ODD ANDERSENAFP via Getty Images

Canadas Hugo Barrette reacts after crashing out of the men's keirin in round 1 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 5 of 18

Kazakhstans Sergey Ponomaryov L crashes with Malaysias Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom in the mens track cycling keirin first round heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome in Izu Japan on August 7 2021 Photo by Greg Baker AFP Photo by GREG BAKERAFP via Getty Images

Kazakhstans Sergey Ponomaryov Malaysian Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom in the men's keirin. Dutch rider Matthijs Buchli was relegated in the incident (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 6 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom of Team Malaysia reacts after falling during the Mens Keirin first round heat 2 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Malaysia) crashed in round 1 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 7 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Mohd Azizulhasni Awang of Team Malaysia during the Mens Keirin first round heat 3 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) won his heat on round 1 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 8 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Matthijs Buchli of Team Netherlands competes as Hugo Barrette of Team Canada falls during the Mens Keirin first round heat 2 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) was relegated in a clash that knocked Hugo Barrette of Team Canada to the ground (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 9 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 LR Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro of Team Colombia and Jair Tjon En Fa of Team Suriname sprint during the Mens Keirin first round heat 5 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Kevin Quintero (Colombia) and Jair Tjon En Fa (Suriname) in the men's keirin round (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 10 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Kwesi Browne of Team Trinidad And Tobago celebrates winning during the Mens Keirin repechages heat 1 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Kwesi Browne of Trinidad And Tobago celebrates winning during the men's keirin repechage (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 11 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Jason Kenny of Team Great Britain competes during the Mens Keirin repechages heat 2 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Jason Kenny (Great Britain) won his repechage round to advance to round 2 of the men's Keirin (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 12 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 LR Hugo Barrette of Team Canada Sam Webster of Team New Zealand and Patryk Rajkowski of Team Poland sprint during the Mens Keirin first round heat of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Hugo Barrette (Canada), Sam Webster (New Zealand) and Patryk Rajkowski (Poland) were all eliminated in the repechages (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 13 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Harrie Lavreysen of Team Netherlands sprints during the Mens Keirin repechages heat 3 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) dominated his repechage heat to move on (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 14 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Matthew Glaetzer of Team Australia competes during the Mens Keirin repechages heat 4 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) won the repechage heat to advance to round 2 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 15 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 LR Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro of Team Colombia Matthew Glaetzer of Team Australia compete during the Mens Keirin repechages heat 4 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Jean Spies (South Africa) leads his heat (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 16 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Matthew Richardson of Team Australia suffers pain after the Mens Keirin first round heat 2 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Matthew Richardson (Australia) qualified for round 2 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 17 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Maximilian Levy of Team Germany and Jason Kenny of Team Great Britain sprint ahead of Rayan Helal of Team France Kwesi Browne of Team Trinidad And Tobago and Sam Webster of Team New Zealand during the Mens Keirin first round heat 1 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Jason Kenny (Great Britain) lost heat 1 to Rayan Helal (France), Max Levy (Germany) and Kwesi Brown (TTO) and had to go through repechages (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 18 of 18

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Yudai Nitta of Team Japan celebrates winning during the Mens Keirin first round heat 4 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Yudai Nitta (Japan) won the first round heat to advance to round 2 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Flying out of the field early, Great Britain's Jason Kenny took control of his own destiny to win the men’s Keirin at the Tokyo Olympic Games, making it the third Olympics in a row he has taken gold in the discipline. 

Kenny didn’t wait for the final sprint, sensing an opportunity when he had a gap at the front with four laps to go and as the rider second in line, Australia's Matthew Glaetzer, was looking behind. 

Once he let fly there was no hope for the rest of the field, which he comfortably held off to the line.

“It is a bit of shock I think, I really wanted to cross the finish line," said Kenny after he took his seventh gold medal at the Olympic Games. 

"I was hoping to kind of get stuck in, and hopefully come away with some silverware. To win at the corner on my own like that is absolutely buzzing.”

Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) led the charge from the rest of the field to take silver.

“I came here to execute a plan, I did my best. In the quarterfinals and semifinals I did really well. I planned to do the same thing in the final, but it is just bad luck," said Awang. 

"I got drawn to the back and had strong guys at the front, so I couldn’t jump straight into the front and just waste my energy. I wanted to go for the win, and Jason [Kenny] was fully committed at the front. There was a big gap and we just came late.”

Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) took third, adding another medal to his already substantial haul after wins in the Team Sprint and individual Sprint. 

Jair Tjon En Fa from the small South American nation of Suriname was fourth, with Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer fifth and Maximilian Levy (Germany) sixth.

On the podium, Kenny's fellow medallists recognised the scale of his achievement, lifting the rider from Great Britain into the air after he was presented with his seventh gold medal. 

Kenny had already taken silver in the Team Sprint at the Izu Velodrome in Tokyo but was disappointed to have fallen out of the running for the medals in the individual Sprint, an event where he had won gold at both Rio and London.

“I just wasn't quick enough to be competitive at all,” said Kenny of the Sprint. 

“That was really hard to take, because we work really hard. You don't really know what kind of form you have until you get here, because obviously we taper and we don't see the best until the last minute.

“But you just keep scrapping away, and I am absolutely buzzing to get something out of chaos.”

Early rounds

The early rounds of the men’s Keirin produced some thrilling racing with several big-names forced to qualify via the repechages to make it through to Sunday’s finals. 

Jason Kenny (Great Britain), Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) and Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) all had to come back via a second race after finishing out of the top two places in their hotly contested heats.    

Jack Carlin (Great Britain), Callum Saunders (New Zealand) and Matt Richardson (Australia) made it through facing some serious competition, while Japan’s expert Keirin riders Yudai Nitta and Yuta Wakimoto, cheered on by the local crowd in the Izu velodrome, also qualified for day 2. 

Mohd Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia also went through too, no doubt adding some spice to the finals, while Rayan Helal (France) and the experienced Maximilian Levy (Germany) also qualified. 

Suriname’s Jair Tjon En Fa sprinted with confidence and qualified via the repechage, giving the small South American nation a shot at a place in the finals and perhaps even a medal.

Tjon En Fa, like Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago, has developed with the help of the UCI’s World Cycling Centre track programme.

Paul sailed through the quarterfinals with a huge solo win over Carlin, along with Kevin Quintero (Colombia) and Yuta Wakimoto (Japan).

In the semifinal, however, Paul was disqualified for passing on the blue band. Carlin, Trinidad & Tobago's Kwesi Browne, Quintero, Wakimoto and Helal missed the medal final and fought for 7th through 11th place.

Men's Keirin Round 1 Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rayan Helal (France) 0:00:10.063
2Maximilian Levy (Germany) 0:00:00.010
3Kwesi Browne (Trinidad & Tobago) 0:00:00.248
4Jason Kenny (Great Britain) 0:00:00.462
5Sam Webster (New Zealand) 0:00:00.546
6Ivan Gladyshev (Russian Olympic) 0:00:03.173

Men's Keirin Round 1 Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jack Carlin (Great Britain) 0:00:09.951
2Matthew Richardson (Australia) 0:00:00.070
RELMatthijs Buchli (Netherlands)
DNFHugo Barrette (Canada)
DNFSergey Ponomaryov (Kazakhstan)
DNFMuhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Malaysia)

Men's Keirin Round 1 Heat 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) 0:00:09.955
2Nicholas Paul (Trinidad & Tobago) 0:00:00.075
3Patryk Rajkowski (Poland) 0:00:00.104
4Stefan Boetticher (Germany) 0:00:00.115
5Jean Spies (South Africa) 0:00:00.739
6Sebastien Vigier (France) 0:00:00.884

Men's Keirin Round 1 Heat 4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yudai Nitta (Japan) 0:00:09.899
2Denis Dmitriev (Russian Olympic) 0:00:00.004
3Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) 0:00:00.093
4Chao Xu (People's Republic of China) 0:00:00.240
5Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) 0:00:00.256
6Mateusz Rudyk (Poland) 0:00:00.974

Men's Keirin Round 1 Heat 5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yuta Wakimoto (Japan) 0:00:09.657
2Callum Saunders (New Zealand) 0:00:00.089
3Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro (Colombia) 0:00:00.096
4Tomas Babek (Czech Republic) 0:00:00.228
5Nick Wammes (Canada) 0:00:00.292
6Jair Tjon en Fa (Suriname) 0:00:00.396

Men's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kwesi Browne (Trinidad & Tobago) 0:00:09.938
2Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Malaysia) 0:00:00.010
3Sebastien Vigier (France) 0:00:00.037
4Tomas Babek (Czech Republic) 0:00:00.638
5Chao Xu (People's Republic of China) 0:00:00.979

Men's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jason Kenny (Great Britain) 0:00:09.569
2Stefan Boetticher (Germany) 0:00:00.363
3Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) 0:00:00.441
4Mateusz Rudyk (Poland) 0:00:00.480
5Nick Wammes (Canada) 0:00:00.564

Men's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) 0:00:09.746
2Jair Tjon en Fa (Suriname) 0:00:00.577
3Sam Webster (New Zealand) 0:00:00.580
4Hugo Barrette (Canada) 0:00:00.738
5Patryk Rajkowski (Poland) 0:00:01.616

Men's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) 0:00:09.677
2Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro (Colombia) 0:00:00.069
3Sergey Ponomaryov (Kazakhstan) 0:00:00.124
4Ivan Gladyshev (Russian Olympic) 0:00:00.675
5Jean Spies (South Africa) 0:00:00.760

Men's Keirin Round 2 Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro (Colombia)
2Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
3Rayan Helal (France)
4Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands)
5Matthew Richardson (Australia)
6Yudai Nitta (Japan)

Men's Keirin Round 2 Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicholas Paul (Trinidad & Tabago)
2Jack Carlin (Great Britain)
3Jair Tjon en Fa (Suriname)
4Maximilian Levy (Germany)
5Callum Saunders (New Zealand)
6Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Malaysia)

Men's Keirin Round 2 Heat 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yuta Wakimoto (Japan)
2Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia)
3Kwesi Browne (Trinidad & Tabago)
4Matthew Glaetzer (Australia)
5Stefan Boetticher (Germany)
6Denis Dmitriev (Russian Olympic)

Men's Keirin Semifinal Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
2Matthew Glaetzer (Australia)
3Jair Tjon en Fa (Suriname)
4Jack Carlin (Great Britain)
5Kwesi Browne (Trinidad & Tabago)
6Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro (Colombia)

Men's Keirin Semifinal Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia)
2Maximilian Levy (Germany)
3Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands)
4Rayan Helal (France)
5Yuta Wakimoto (Japan)
DSQNicholas Paul (Trinidad & Tabago)

Men's Keirin Finals
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
2Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia)
3Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands)
4Jair Tjon en Fa (Suriname)
5Matthew Glaetzer (Australia)
6Maximilian Levy (Germany)
7Yuta Wakimoto (Japan)
8Jack Carlin (Great Britain)
9Kwesi Browne (Trinidad & Tabago)
10Rayan Helal (France)
11Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro (Colombia)

Latest on Cyclingnews