Olympic feature: Women’s Keirin

 

The Keirin originated in Japan in 1948, where it is the most popular betting sport and first appeared in the Olympic programme in 2000.

 

keirin gets under way

 

For the start of this eight lap race, riders are held on the line and pushed off when the gun sounds.  They fall in behind a small motor bike, a derny, which sets a pace that steadily increases until there are two and a half laps to go.  The derny then pulls off and riders sprint to the finish.

 

Anna Meares wins Keirin World Championships

 

From the moment riders are pushed off then can jostle for position and typically there is some contact, but must stay behind the back wheel of the derny.

 

Heats of between six and nine riders will be held and the top 12 will progress to the next round.  The best six will then ride off for the medals.

 

With so many riders taking part in what is really a sprint race there are often crashes on the final laps and this is one of the most exciting track races.  We reported the action from the World Championships here and we are really looking forward to the Olympic race.

 

 

Women’s Keirin Key Facts

 

Current World Champion:  Anna Meares (Australia)

 

Olympic dates: 3 August

 

Venue: Velodrome, Olympic Park

 

Distance: 8 laps

 

Format: Heats and repecharges will be followed by semi-final and finals.  Six riders will qualify to ride off for the medals.

 

Medal Favourites:   The current World Championship, Anna Meares, should never be underestimated, but GB’s Victoria Pendleton has also shown the speed and tactical ability to win, as has Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania).  However, given the nature of this race, there could be a surprise winner in this event.

 

 

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