Lauren Genest writes new page in Canadian track cycling by winning first medal in history at the Kerin event at the Izu Velodrome.
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His teammate and friend Kelsey Mitchell also qualified for the bronze medal, finishing 0.148 seconds ahead of Dutch champion Shaun Braspenniks in the qualifying final. New Zealand’s Ellisie Andrews finished the podium and Mitchell finished fifth.
“I don’t know Canada’s history and number of medals, but if it’s the first in history it’s a plus,” said Janest, who finished third in his heat to reach the final. I’m really proud of my performance, but also of the entire team and track cycling program. In sprinting, we have made a lot of progress in recent years! “
This is only the second medal in Canadian track cycling history. In 2004, in Athens, Lori Ann Munzer won sprint gold. This is the first cycling medal for Canada in Tokyo.
Keirin, which is very popular in Japan, has a professional circuit where sports betting is allowed. In her autobiography on the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) website, Janest states that she dreams of one day racing professionally in Japan.
Women’s Kirin made her debut at the 2012 Games in London. As for the men, they made their debut in 2000 in Athens. The two-kilometer race was started by a moped driver who accelerated to a top speed of 50km / h at a speed of 25km / h before leaving to make room for cyclists.
Genest shines after the race. “I was shocked and it felt amazing,” she said during a post-race press briefing for the three medal winners. I didn’t come up with the idea of winning, but I knew I could do better. I am very happy with the result and I have not realized yet. ”
I have no particular feelings for continuing to be a local cyclist of Saint-Damien de Bellecase, I have no idea what is going on (laughs). I started to feel great emotions. When I crossed the finish line, I didn’t really understand what I had achieved. ”
Loyalty believed itself. “Honestly, it’s a lifetime achievement. It’s amazing to see that we work so hard every day and our efforts pay dividends. I get ready for the next meal, have lunch and go straight to my bed.
Genest is back in action today with the Sprint event in the program.
With the exception of the press briefing of the medal winners, the Canadian team leaders were reluctant to give Janest an interview so that she could focus on her next event.