Olympics: Matthew Walls wins gold in men's Omnium

Matthew Walls (Great Britain) won gold in the men’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympic Games with a commanding display throughout the four-race event. The 23-year-old won the first event, and finished second in the Elimination race before making sure of gold with an assured display in the Points race.

"It’s unreal really. When I was a kid I was watching you guys at the Olympics and thought that it would be so cool to here one day," Walls told former Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins at the finish of the event.

"Now I’m here and I’ve come away with a gold medal. It’s unbelievable. I felt pretty good. I didn’t know how I was feeling coming into it, obviously my last track race was a year ago at the Euros, which was quite a long time ago. But I’ve been going well. I was flying really."

Walls won gold ahead of Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) with the 2016 champion Elia Viviani (Italy) coming back to win bronze after a disappointing display in the first two events.

Walls came into the final lap with a slender four point lead over Jan Willem Van Schip (Netherlands) and Benjamin Thomas (France), but it was Germany’s Roger Klugge who took an early lap alongside Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus). However, with 86 laps to go Walls gained a lap of his own, and along with those twenty points, he took an additional five points at the intermediate sprint.

Stewart went out to take a lap and the next sprint to move himself up into fourth in the overall standings before Klugge linked up once more with Karaliok and Viviani to take another lap. That moved Viviani up into provisional silver with the Italian also taking two intermediates along the way. Walls then took the next sprint to extend his lead before Viviani won sprint 8.

It looked as though the medals would come down to the final sprint but with 17 laps to go Stewart raced clear with Albert Torres (Spain) and Niklas Larsen (Denmark). The trio picked up a lap in the dying stages of the race and with double points on the line for the final sprint Stewart just did enough to push Viviani down into bronze.

Wall finished with 153 points, with Stewart on 129 points, and Viviani on 124 points.

Elimination Race

Elia Viviani came away with the win in the Elimination race with the defending Olympic champion edging out Matt Walls to take the victory. The win kept alive Viviani’s hopes of retaining his title after two disappointing opening events. Wall’s second place, however, put him ahead of the pack in the standings with just one event remaining. The British rider took a four point lead into the Points race after his closest rivals were put to the sword.

The Elimination race saw a number of surprises with Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) out of the race in the early stages. He was joined by Gavin Hoover (USA) and Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) before Sam Welsford and medal contender Niklas Larsen were also edged out. 

Albert Torres found himself boxed in and was the next rider to leave the race before Benjamin Thomas  - who came into the event tied for the overall lead – was unable to make the cut. Campbell Stewart put in a dogged ride but was next to fall by the wayside with just four riders left in contentin. Wall’s closest competitor

Jan Willem Van Schip (Netherlands) was the next rider to see his race end before Thery Schir sat up to leave just Viviani and Walls in the race. The British rider was unable to match Viviani’s speed but with one event to go he held a four point lead over

Van Schip (114 to 110), with Thomas a further four points adrift. Viviani’s win catapulted him into sixth with 82 points.

Tempo Race

Jan Willem Van Schip (Netherlands) came out on top in the Tempo Race in the men's Omnium after gaining a lap in the closing stages of the event. The early lead in the race had been shared by Walls and Benjamin Thomas (France), the world champion in the discipline, before the Frenchman skipped clear with Thery Schir (Switzerland), Niklas Larsen (Denmark) and Kenny de Ketele (Belgium). They were joined by Elia Viviani (Italy) as the group gained a lap and 20 points each.

After 36 sprints Van Schip held the lead with 30 points, with Thomas, Wall and Schir tied on 23 points but the Dutchman extended his lead when he went clear and picked up a number of sprint points and then a further 20 points by gaining a lap on the field. The win in the race put Van Schip, Walls and Thomas level at the top of the Omnium standings with 76 points each. Larsen was fourth with 62 points, while Viviani looked out of the running and outside of the top ten.

Scratch Race

Great Britain’s Matthew Walls had taken the lead after the scratch race in the men's Omnium at the Tokyo Olympic Games with the rider among a group of five that took a lap on the field during the 10 kilometre bunch race.

In the first in the series of four races in the Omnium, Walls took the 40 points, while in second it was Benjamin Thomas of France, with 38, and in third Jan Williem van Schip of the Netherlands, with 36 points.  The top three were part of a group of five that managed to get one lap up on the field, with the move initiated by Denmark’s Niklas Larsen, who finished fifth, with 17 laps to go. Four riders then came across – Thomas, Van Schip, fourth placed Artyom Zakharov of Kazakhstan and Walls.

The five riders were sitting back in the bunch when it came down to the final sprint for the line, which was won by Australia’s Sam Welsford, putting him in sixth place with 30 points.

Next is the tempo race, run over 10 kilometres with sprints every lap, starting after lap four.

In the men's Omnium 20 riders line up to compete, with only one rider per nation, in a series of four races: scratch race, tempo race, elimination race and points race. The overall winner of the Omnium is the rider with the most cumulative points, with riders accumulating points by a variety of differing means throughout the races, including by winning, taking sprints or a lap on the field. Riders can also lose points by dropping a lap. All four races will be held at the Izu Velodrome on Thursday, with the final medal deciding points race at 17:55 (JST).

The fourth day of competition in the Izu velodrome also include the 1/8 finals and quarter-finals of the men’s Sprint and the Women's Keirin quarterfinals, semi-finals and medal final.

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Men's Omnium Scratch Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Walls (Great Britain) 40
2Benjamin Thomas (France) 38
3Jan Willem van Schip (Netherlands) 36
4Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) 34
5Niklas Larsen (Denmark) 32
6 (-1 lap)Sam Welsford (Australia) 30
7Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) 28
8Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) 26
9Thery Schir (Switzerland) 24
10Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 22
11Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) 20
12Roger Kluge (Germany) 18
13Elia Viviani (Italy) 16
14Szymon Sajnok (Poland) 14
15Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) 12
16Mark Downey (Ireland) 10
17Christos Volikakis (Greece) 8
18Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 6
19Andreas Mueller (Austria) 4
20David Maree (South Africa) 2
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Men's Omnium Tempo Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Willem van Schip (Netherlands) 40
2Benjamin Thomas (France) 38
3Matthew Walls (Great Britain) 36
4Thery Schir (Switzerland) 34
5Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 32
6Niklas Larsen (Denmark) 30
7Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) 28
8Elia Viviani (Italy) 26
9Szymon Sajnok (Poland) 24
10Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) 22
11Roger Kluge (Germany) 20
12Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) 18
13Sam Welsford (Australia) 16
14Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 14
15Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) 12
16Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) 10
17Christos Volikakis (Greece) 8
18David Maree (South Africa) 6
19 (-1 lap)Mark Downey (Ireland) 4
20Andreas Mueller (Austria) 2
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Men's Omniums Standings after Tempo Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Willem van Schip (Netherlands) 76
2Matthew Walls (Great Britain) 76
3Benjamin Thomas (France) 76
4Niklas Larsen (Denmark) 62
5Thery Schir (Switzerland) 58
6Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 54
7Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) 48
8Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) 46
9Sam Welsford (Australia) 46
10Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) 46
11Elia Viviani (Italy) 42
12Szymon Sajnok (Poland) 38
13Roger Kluge (Germany) 38
14Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) 36
15Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) 34
16Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 20
17Christos Volikakis (Greece) 16
18Mark Downey (Ireland) 14
19David Maree (South Africa) 8
20Andreas Mueller (Austria) 6
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Men's Omnium Elimination Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elia Viviani (Italy) 40
2Matthew Walls (Great Britain) 38
3Thery Schir (Switzerland) 36
4Jan Willem van Schip (Netherlands) 34
5Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) 32
6Benjamin Thomas (France) 30
7Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) 28
8Niklas Larsen (Denmark) 26
9Sam Welsford (Australia) 24
10Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) 22
11Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 20
12Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) 18
13Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) 16
14Christos Volikakis (Greece) 14
15David Maree (South Africa) 12
16Szymon Sajnok (Poland) 10
17Roger Kluge (Germany) 8
18Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 6
19Mark Downey (Ireland) 4
20Andreas Mueller (Austria) 2
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Men's Omnium Standings after Elimination Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Walls (Great Britain) 114
2Jan Willem van Schip (Netherlands) 110
3Benjamin Thomas (France) 106
4Thery Schir (Switzerland) 94
5Niklas Larsen (Denmark) 88
6Elia Viviani (Italy) 82
7Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) 78
8Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 74
9Sam Welsford (Australia) 70
10Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) 70
11Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) 62
12Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) 62
13Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) 54
14Szymon Sajnok (Poland) 48
15Roger Kluge (Germany) 46
16Christos Volikakis (Greece) 30
17Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 26
18David Maree (South Africa) 20
19Mark Downey (Ireland) 18
20Andreas Mueller (Austria) 8
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Men's Omnium Points Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1 (+ 2 laps)Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) 51
2Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 50
3Roger Kluge (Germany) 45
4 (+1 lap)Elia Viviani (Italy) 42
5Matthew Walls (Great Britain) 39
6Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 25
7Niklas Larsen (Denmark) 25
8Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) 22
9 (0 laps)Thery Schir (Switzerland) 15
10Benjamin Thomas (France) 12
11Sam Welsford (Australia) 9
12Jan Willem van Schip (Netherlands) 2
13Eiya Hashimoto (Japan)
14Kenny de Ketele (Belgium)
15Mark Downey (Ireland)
16Szymon Sajnok (Poland)
17Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan)
18Andreas Mueller (Austria)
19 (-2 laps)David Maree (South Africa) -37
DNFChristos Volikakis (Greece) 8
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Men's Omnium Final Standings
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Walls (Great Britain) 153
2Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) 129
3Elia Viviani (Italy) 124
4Benjamin Thomas (France) 118
5Niklas Larsen (Denmark) 113
6Jan Willem van Schip (Netherlands) 112
7Thery Schir (Switzerland) 109
8Gavin Hoover (United States Of America) 99
9Roger Kluge (Germany) 91
10Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) 84
11Sam Welsford (Australia) 79
12Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 76
13Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) 70
14Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) 62
15Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) 54
16Szymon Sajnok (Poland) 48
17Mark Downey (Ireland) 18
18Andreas Mueller (Austria) 8
19David Maree (South Africa) -17
DNFChristos Volikakis (Greece)

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