Olympics-Cycling-Dutch rider Braspennincx claims surprise gold in keirin
IZU, Japan (Reuters) -Dutch rider Shanne Braspennincx claimed a surprise gold medal in the Olympic women’s keirin event at the Izu Velodrome on Thursday, edging out Ellesse Andrews of New Zealand.
The result added another remarkable chapter to the rollercoaster career of Braspennincx, who suffered a heart attack in 2015 and was unable to train for more than six months.
Once the derney, an electric bike that paces the riders around the opening three laps at a steadily increasing speed, moved aside, Braspennincx took charge of the final and cruised to the biggest win of her career.
The 30-year-old was followed across the line by silver medallist Andrews and Lauriane Genest of Canada took bronze.
Andrews powered from fifth wheel to overhaul three riders for her first Olympic medal, 31 years after her father Jon won two bronze medals in track cycling at the Commonwealth Games.
“I can’t stop crying,” an emotional Andrews told Sky Sport.
“I think in a keirin you just have to get the absolute right balance of physical effort and tactical execution so to get that right today and get a silver medal is amazing. I’m so proud of myself.”
Braspennincx’s victory for the Netherlands came hours after her team mate Laurine van Riessen suffered a high-speed crash in a quarter-final heat.
Germany’s reigning world champion Emma Hinze had a day to forget, finishing last in her semi-final before taking seventh place overall.