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Olympics: Braspennincx wins women's Keirin gold

Dutch rider Shanne Braspennincx took out the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games women’s Keirin, taking to the front to sprint for the line early and holding off a fast finishing Ellesse Andrews from New Zealand.

The 30-year-old Dutchwoman had looked powerful all throughout the preceding rounds, taking the win in both her quarter and semi-final heats, but she lined up against two nations that had qualified two riders through to the six-woman final. They didn’t end up using their numbers to advantage, however, with the individual riders coming out on top.

“I’ll have to let it sink in first, it feels surreal," Braspennincx said after her victory. “I can’t believe it. I don't know what it was like (the race). I went in the moment, thought I had to go and I held it.

"That’s pure instinct. That’s how I do it since I race keirin, I listen to my gut feeling. Of course I know what the others are capable of, but at the very moment itself, I don’t think."

Behind the silver medallist from New Zealand, Andrews, it was Canada’s Lauriane Genest who took the bronze, with Ukraine’s Olena Starikova fourth while her teammate Liubov Basova came last behind Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell.

After taking silver, Andrews said she couldn't stop crying with joy. "I don’t mind because I’ve achieved a silver medal performance for my country. I couldn’t be more proud.

“(I'm) pretty overwhelmed to come away from this Games with a silver medal. It’s unbelievable, and I’m so proud to bring home a medal.

“I’m 21 years old. I’m at the start of my cycling career. To achieve this at 21, it just gives me more passion and more fire and more drive to continue my development into the future.”

The bronze medal was a surprise for Genest who had her head down and didn't realize what she'd achieved at first.

"I’m pretty stoked. It’s an amazing feeling," Genest said. "I didn’t come here today to win. I knew I could do well, but I’m very happy with the outcome and I don’t quite realise it yet.

“I’m starting to feel the high emotions and realise it, but in the moment I crossed the finish line I didn’t really know what I had done. It’s a life accomplishment, honestly. We work so hard every day. We train so hard and it’s amazing to see the work pay off."

In the competition among the six semifinal riders who missed out on the medal final, Germany’s Emma Hinze won the race to finish seventh overall.

Quarter-final drama

The women’s Keirin field in the medal deciding final was dominated by the two of the Ukraine and Canada as first Starikova and Basova made their way through the first heat of the semi finals while then Canada’s Mitchell and Genest both made it through the second. New Zealand’s Andrews qualified with a second place in the first heat between the two Ukranian riders and Braspennincx of the Netherlands again led the way in the second heat.

Earlier in the quarter-finals Wai Sze Lee of China, Braspennincx and Mitchell of Canada had won their heats but the Chinese rider fell out of contention for the medals after the semi-final. So did Germany’s Emma Hinze, Russia Olympic’s Daria Shmeleva, Australia's Kaarle McCulloch, Tianshi Zhong of China and Mexico’s Luz Daniela Gaxiola Gonzalez.

It was a difficult start to the second day of competition in the women's Keirin before the riders progressed through the rounds, with the very first quarter-final heat hit by a crash. Katy Marchant (Great Britain) and Dutch rider Laurine van Riessen both came down heavily, crashing out of the competition. Marchant got back up and finished, though was out of the qualification spots, however Van Riessen was taken to hospital.

Day one of Kierin

The first day of racing in the Tokyo Olympics women’s Keirin saw some high-speed racing and fight backs to ensure qualification for day 2 and the medal races.

Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell went through after winning heat 3 and young American Madalyn Godby also rode well to go through with Lauriane Genest of Canada, who won heat 5. 

It was not so easy for other riders, with Germany’s reigning World Champion Emma Hinze, the Netherlands’ Shanne Braspennincx and France’s Mathilde Gros having to go through the repechages as only two of the six riders in each highly-contested keirin qualified to the next round.

Great Britain’s Katie Marchant went through to the quarterfinals via the repechage after being relegated for moving off her line in the first round. Australia’s Kaarle McCulloch also came through via the repechage after struggling to find a way through in her ride.

Hinze and most of her biggest rivals eventually made it through to Thursday’s finals but face another day of intense racing on Thursday, with three more rounds of racing before the medals are awarded.

The fourth day of competition in the Izu velodrome will award medals in the men’s Omnium (Scratch Race, Tempo Race, Elimination and Points Race) and include the 1/8 finals and quarter-finals of the men’s Sprint.

Women's Keirin Final
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands) 0:00:10.622
2Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) 0:00:00.061
3Lauriane Genest (Canada) 0:00:00.148
4Olena Starikova (Ukraine) 0:00:00.396
5Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) 0:00:00.566
6Liubov Basova (Ukraine) 0:00:00.580

Women's Keirn 7-12 Final
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
7Emma Hinze (Germany) 0:00:11.078
8Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China) 0:00:00.043
9Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) 0:00:00.097
10Daria Shmeleva (Russian Olympic) 0:00:00.163
11Luz Daniela Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mexico) 0:00:00.617
12Tianshi Zhong (People's Republic of China) 0:00:00.729

Women's Keirin Semifinals Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olena Starikova (Ukraine) 0:00:11.317
2Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) 0:00:00.017
3Liubov Basova (Ukraine) 0:00:00.071
4Luz Daniela Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mexico) 0:00:00.097
5Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China) 0:00:00.153
6Tianshi Zhong (People's Republic of China) 0:00:00.322

Women's Keirin Semifinals Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands) 0:00:11.090
2Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) 0:00:00.277
3Lauriane Genest (Canada) 0:00:00.315
4Daria Shmeleva (Russian Olympic) 0:00:00.320
5Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) 0:00:00.400
6Emma Hinze (Germany) 0:00:00.814

Women's Keirin Quarterfinal Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wai sze Lee (Hong Kong, China) 0:00:11.230
2Olena Starikova (Ukraine) 0:00:00.029
3Daria Shmeleva (Russian Olympic) 0:00:00.086
4Emma Hinze (Germany) 0:00:00.490
5Katy Marchant (Great Britain) 0:00:41.527
DNFLaurine van Riessen (Netherlands)

Women's Keirin Quarterfinal Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands) 0:00:11.334
2Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) 0:00:00.052
3Luz Daniela Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mexico) 0:00:00.084
4Lauriane Genest (Canada) 0:00:00.094
5Mathilde Gros (France) 0:00:00.312
6Lea Sophie Friedrich (Germany) 0:00:00.313

Women's Keirin Quarterfinal Heat 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) 0:00:10.981
2Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) 0:00:00.136
3Tianshi Zhong (People's Republic of China) 0:00:00.152
4Liubov Basova (Ukraine) 0:00:00.354
5Madalyn Godby (United States Of America) 0:00:00.434
6Yuka Kobayashi (Japan) 0:00:00.447

Women's Keirin Round 1 Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Laurine van Riessen (Netherlands) 0:00:10.900
2Tianshi Zhong (People's Republic of China) 0:00:00.200
3Hyejin Lee (Korea) 0:00:00.400
4Hoi yan Jessica Lee (Hong Kong, China)
RELKaty Marchant (Great Britain)

Women's Keirin Round 1 Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lea Sophie Friedrich (Germany) 0:00:11.055
2Daria Shmeleva (Russian Olympic) 0:00:00.100
3Wai sze Lee (Hong Kong, China) 0:00:00.200
4Charlene du Preez (South Africa) 0:00:00.300
5Coralie Demay (France) 0:00:00.400
6Migle Marozaite (Lithuania) 0:00:01.400

Women's Keirin Round 1 Heat 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) 0:00:11.391
2Luz Daniela Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mexico) 0:00:00.100
3Anastasiia Voinova (Russian Olympic)
4Shanju Bao (People's Republic of China) 0:00:00.200
5Emma Hinze (Germany) 0:00:00.300
6Liubov Basova (Ukraine) 0:00:00.600

Women's Keirin Round 1 Heat 4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olena Starikova (Ukraine) 0:00:10.894
2Yuka Kobayashi (Japan) 0:00:00.100
3Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands)
4Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) 0:00:00.200
5Marlena Karwacka (Poland) 0:00:00.400
6Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) 0:00:01.100

Women's Keirin Round 1 Heat 5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lauriane Genest (Canada) 0:00:11.183
2Madalyn Godby (United States Of America) 0:00:00.100
3Urszula Los (Poland) 0:00:00.200
4Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) 0:00:00.400
5Yuli Verdugo Osuna (Mexico)
6Mathilde Gros (France) 0:00:01.100

Women's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) 0:00:11.097
2Liubov Basova (Ukraine) 0:00:00.100
3Hyejin Lee (Korea)
4Hoi yan Jessica Lee (Hong Kong, China) 0:00:01.000
5Migle Marozaite (Lithuania) 0:00:01.200

Women's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wai sze Lee (Hong Kong, China) 0:00:10.958
2Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) 0:00:00.100
3Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) 0:00:00.600
4Yuli Verdugo Osuna (Mexico)
5Shanju Bao (People's Republic of China)

Women's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katy Marchant (Great Britain) 0:00:11.122
2Mathilde Gros (France) 0:00:00.100
3Anastasiia Voinova (Russian Olympic)
4Marlena Karwacka (Poland) 0:00:00.200
5Charlene du Preez (South Africa) 0:00:00.400

Women's Keirin Round 1 Repechage Heat 4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands) 0:00:11.135
2Emma Hinze (Germany)
3Urszula Los (Poland) 0:00:00.100
4Coralie Demay (France) 0:00:00.600

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