Canada's Mitchell, Genest cruise to 4th round of women's sprint track cycling
Final races set to take place Saturday
Canadian track cyclists Kelsey Mitchell and Lauriane Genest both easily advanced to the fourth round of the women's track cycling sprint event at the Tokyo Games on Friday.
Mitchell, who is the world record-holder in the event, made it look easy in all three rounds.
In the qualification, the 27-year-old posted the second-fastest time among all 29 cyclists with a time of 10.346. Come time for the 1/32 round, the Sherwood Park, Alta., native posted a time of 11.105, 0.535 ahead of Ukraine's Lyubov Basova.
The 1/16 final brought about a new look race for Mitchell, who was paired against Australia's Kaarle McCulloch. Starting out front, rather than behind, as has been the case in a handful of her races, Mitchell trailed until late in the final lap, where she surged past McCulloch on the final bend, easily winning in the final leg to advance.
"Pure speed and power"<br><br>Canada's Kelsey Mitchell will go through the final 8 after winning her heat <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> 🇨🇦<br><br>Watch<a href="https://t.co/12pHKy0OU9">https://t.co/12pHKy0OU9</a> <a href="https://t.co/JWTrFr63iN">pic.twitter.com/JWTrFr63iN</a>—@CBCOlympics
A day after winning bronze in the women's keirin, Genest pushed through all three of her sprints, proving to be a problem for other riders in this event as well.
After posting the fifth-fastest time in the qualification, the 23-year-old played it smooth in the next round.
Paired up with American Madalyn Godby, she opted to start out in front but seamlessly stayed in front throughout the entirety of the sprint to win the race with a time of 11.102 seconds, 0.121 ahead of Godby to advance to the 1/16 round.
In the following round, paired against Anastasiia Voinova of the Russian Olympic Committee, Genest showed just how difficult it could be to beat her. Starting out in front, she kept Voinova on her hip in the final round, refusing to let her by.
Once both made the final turn in the final lap, Genest proved her power and easily passed up Voinova to clear herself of any need for the repechage.
WHAT A CLOSE RACE!<br><br>Canadian Lauriane Genest has a tremendous race and wins in her heat of women's sprint <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> 🇨🇦<br><br>Watch<a href="https://t.co/12pHKy0OU9">https://t.co/12pHKy0OU9</a> <a href="https://t.co/4yQGXmIC0f">pic.twitter.com/4yQGXmIC0f</a>—@CBCOlympics
The 1/8 final, along with the final for placing fifth to eighth, and the bronze- and gold-medal races will all take place Saturday.
In the men's track sprint final, the Netherlands' Harrie Lavreysen struck gold over fellow Dutch cyclist Jeffrey Hoogland who claimed silver. Lavreysen won the second and third races, to clinch the victory.
Great Britain's Jack Carlin won bronze, defeating Denis Dmitriev of the Russian Olympic Committee in two consecutive races.
In the women's madison event, Great Britain's duo of Kate Archibald and Laura Kenny claimed the gold medal.
Denmark's Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth won silver, while the Russian Olympic Committee's Gulnaz Khatuntseva and Mariia Novolodskaia took bronze.