Valente wins women's Omnium to take final cycling gold of Tokyo Olympics

Jennifer Valente of the United States has taken the gold medal in the final cycling event of the Tokyo Olympic Games, a dramatic women’s Omnium with a crash-marred opening race.

Leading from start to finish, the 26-year-old delivered the United States not only its first gold on the track this Olympic Games but its first track cycling gold since 2000 when Marty Nothstein won the individual sprint in Sydney.

"Olympic gold, still the sound of it, I can’t get over," Valente said. "It’s hard to believe, it’ll sink in eventually but it hasn’t quite yet."

Home-nation favourite, Yumi Kajihara took the silver medal with the rider from Japan coming out strongly in the opening race of the four and then holding in the medal spots throughout the other three races. 

Nearly half the field came down in two crashes during the Scratch race and the falls didn't end there, as both the reigning world champion from Japan and the gold medallist Valente came down in the final points race. Both, however, quickly re-joined the race and held their medal positions.

“Crashing in the point races is never ideal," said Valente. "I was just trying to get back on my bike, make sure I was OK, and get back in the race as soon as possible.”

Bronze came down to a hard-fought battle between Dutch rider Kirsten Wild and Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark, with Dideriksen attempting to gain a lap and the 20 points that came with it early in the points race. In the end Wild's formidable sprint power won out and she secured the medal in what she said would likely be her last Omnium.

"I’m not going to pull that off once more," said the 38 year old. "It costs too many years of my life.”

Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway) put in a tenacious ride to finish fifth. 

Great Britain’s Laura Kenny put up a valiant fight in the final points race after the crashes, coming out strongly to take early points and winning the final sprint to move up to sixth overall.

The points race was run over 20 kilometres, with the winner decided by the final number of points accumulated. 

In the sprints held every 10 laps, five points are awarded for first place, three points for second, two points for third and one point for fourth. In the last sprint across the finish line points are doubled. Any rider that gains a lap gets 20 points while a rider that loses a lap drops 20.

The overall winner of the Omnium is the rider with the most cumulative points across all four races. Valente scored 124 points, with Kajihara taking 110 and Wild was close behind with 108.

Elimination race

France’s Clara Copponi was the last rider standing in the elimination race, the third of four races in the women’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympic Games, however Jennifer Valente (United States) remained till near the end and as a result retained her overall lead.

That wasn’t the case though for Australia’s Annette Edmondson, who was one of the first out in the race where the last rider, according to the position of the wheel on the finish line at each intermediate sprint, is eliminated from the race. 

Great Britain’s Laura Kenny didn’t make it halfway through either, which left her also slipping back in the overall standings.

Valente is now followed by Yumi Kajihara of Japan in the points, who finished second in the elimination race, with Valente holding 110 and Kajihara 108, making it tight heading into the final points race.  

Kenny bounces back

Laura Kenny (Great Britain) bounced back from a crash in the Scratch race in the women’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympic Games, winning the Tempo Race and moving up the results board. However Jennifer Valente of the United States retained the overall lead. 

Kenny was quick to start accumulating points in the early sprints, as were Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) and Annette Edmondson (Australia) but then there was a split, which the Australian was on the wrong side of. 

Wild, however held in to take second as did Valente who finished the round in third and held onto her overall lead. Wild took second spot after 2 races with Kenny moved into fifth. 

Despite the crash in the opening Scratch race, all the riders lined up for the second race, however a tearful Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) soon pulled out as did Daria Pikulik (Poland).

The tempo race is run over 7.5 kilometres has sprints every lap, starting after lap four. The first rider in each sprint gets a point and any rider that gains a lap gets 20 points while a rider that loses a lap drops 20. Placings are determined by a tally of points.

A dramatic start

Jennifer Valente of the United States took maximum points in the  crash marred Scratch race – the first in the series of four in the women's Omnium. 

It was, however, only a portion of the field that got to contest the final sprint with approximately half of the field coming down in two crashes in the final laps. Reigning world champion in the event, Yumi Kajihara (Japan) came in second to take 38 points, two less than winner Valente, while Annette Edmondson (Australia), who was safely at the front when the crash occurred, came third. 

Great Britain's Laura Kenny was among those who came down in the second crash, with a commissaire also caught up in the fallout, and was one of seven riders marked as a DNF for the first race. 

The first smaller crash came at two laps to go but then there was another bigger one, closer to the front of the field with riders involved including Kenny, Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) and Elisa Balsamo (Italy). 

The riders from Belgium and Italy were also added to the DNF list which also included Clara Copponi (France) Yao Pang (Hong Kong), Emily Kay (Ireland), Daria Pikulik (Poland) and Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed (Egypt). All of them were awarded 16 points.

The scratch race is a bunch race run over 7.5 kilometres, with the winner of this race – and the next two races in the series – scoring maximum points of 40 and then the points awarded usually drop by 2 for every subsequent place to 21st place, which is awarded 1 point.

It is the first of a series of four races: scratch race, tempo race, elimination race and points race. The overall winner of the Omnium, contested by 21 riders with only one rider per nation, is the rider with the most cumulative points. Riders accumulate 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. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Women's Omnium Scratch Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jennifer Valente (United States Of America) 40
2Yumi Kajihara (Japan) 38
3Annette Edmondson (Australia) 36
4Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway) 34
5Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) 32
6Maria Martins (Portugal) 30
7Allison Beveridge (Canada) 28
8Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) 26
9Holly Edmondston (New Zealand) 24
10Jiali Liu (People's Republic of China) 22
11Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 20
12Mariia Novolodskaia ROC 18
DNFLotte Kopecky (Belgium) 16
DNFEbtissam Zayed Ahmed (Egypt) 16
DNFClara Copponi (France) 16
DNFLaura Kenny (Great Britain) 16
DNFYao Pang (Hong Kong, China) 16
DNFEmily Kay (Ireland) 16
DNFElisa Balsamo (Italy) 16
DNFDaria Pikulik (Poland) 16
DNFOlivija Baleisyte (Lithuania) 16
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Women's Omnium Tempo Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Laura Kenny (Great Britain) 7
2Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) 4
3Jennifer Valente (United States Of America) 3
4Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway) 1
5Yumi Kajihara (Japan) 1
6Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) 1
7Jiali Liu (People's Republic of China)
8Maria Martins (Portugal)
9 (-1 lap)Clara Copponi (France) 4
10Allison Beveridge (Canada) 2
11Annette Edmondson (Australia) 2
12Elisa Balsamo (Italy) 1
13Emily Kay (Ireland) 1
14Holly Edmondston (New Zealand)
15Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus)
16Mariia Novolodskaia ROC
17 (-2 laps)Olivija Baleisyte (Lithuania)
18Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed (Egypt)
19Yao Pang (Hong Kong, China)
DNFLotte Kopecky (Belgium)
DNFDaria Pikulik (Poland)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Standings after Tempo Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jennifer Valente (United States Of America) 76
2Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) 70
3Yumi Kajihara (Japan) 70
4Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway) 68
5Laura Kenny (Great Britain) 56
6Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) 56
7Maria Martins (Portugal) 56
8Annette Edmondson (Australia) 54
9Jiali Liu (People's Republic of China) 50
10Allison Beveridge (Canada) 48
11Clara Copponi (France) 40
12Holly Edmondston (New Zealand) 38
13Elisa Balsamo (Italy) 38
14Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 32
15Emily Kay (Ireland) 32
16Mariia Novolodskaia (Russian Olympic) 28
17Olivija Baleisyte (Lithuania) 24
18Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed (Egypt) 22
19Yao Pang (Hong Kong, China) 20
20Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) 18
20Daria Pikulik (Poland) 18
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elimination Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Clara Copponi (France)
2Yumi Kajihara (Japan)
3Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)
4Jennifer Valente (United States Of America)
5Maria Martins (Portugal)
6Olivija Baleisyte (Lithuania)
7Allison Beveridge (Canada)
8Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway)
9Emily Kay (Ireland)
10Holly Edmondston (New Zealand)
11Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)
12Mariia Novolodskaia(Russian Olympic)
13Laura Kenny (Great Britain)
14Jiali Liu (People's Republic of China)
15Elisa Balsamo (Italy)
16Yao Pang (Hong Kong, China)
17Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed(Egypt)
18Annette Edmondson (Australia)
19Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Standings after Elimination Race
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jennifer Valente (United States Of America) 110
2Yumi Kajihara (Japan) 108
3Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway) 94
4Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) 92
5Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) 90
6Maria Martins (Portugal) 88
7Clara Copponi (France) 80
8Allison Beveridge (Canada) 76
9Laura Kenny (Great Britain) 72
10Jiali Liu (People's Republic of China) 64
11Holly Edmondston (New Zealand) 60
12Annette Edmondson (Australia) 60
13Emily Kay (Ireland) 56
14Olivija Baleisyte (Lithuania) 54
15Elisa Balsamo (Italy) 50
16Mariia Novolodskaia(Russian Olympic) 46
17Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 36
18Yao Pang (Hong Kong, China) 30
19Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed(Egypt) 30
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Omnium final standings
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jennifer Valente (United States Of America) 124
2Yumi Kajihara (Japan) 110
3Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) 108
4Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) 103
5Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway) 97
6Laura Kenny (Great Britain) 96
7Maria Martins (Portugal) 95
8Clara Copponi (France) 85
9Allison Beveridge (Canada) 78
10Holly Edmondston (New Zealand) 67
11Jiali Liu (People's Republic of China) 65
12Annette Edmondson (Australia) 61
13Emily Kay (Ireland) 56
14Elisa Balsamo (Italy) 50
15Mariia Novolodskaia (Russian Olympic) 50
16Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 36
17Olivija Baleisyte (Lithuania) 34
DNFEbtissam Zayed Ahmed (Egypt)
DNFYao Pang (Hong Kong, China)
DNFLotte Kopecky (Belgium)
DNFDaria Pikulik (Poland)

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