| Event type

Sprint, Women

Date6 – 8 August 2021
LocationIzu Velodrome, 1826 Ono, Izu, Shizuoka 410-2402, Japan
Participants29 from 18 countries
FormatQualifying over 3½ laps, or 875 metres. Match races over 3 laps, or 750 metres.

The women’s individual sprint contained many leading riders with a chance of the gold medal. The fastest in qualifying was Germany’s Lea-Sophie Friedrich, who set a new Olympic record 10.310. Her compatriot, and fellow sprint team silver medallist three days earlier, the reigning world champion Emma Hinze, qualified as third fastest with Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell separating the two Germans. Fourth fastest in qualifying was Mathilde Gros, France’s 2019 World Championships bronze medallist,

All the medallists from the team sprint competition were in action and two of them met in the opening round with the ROC’s Darya Shmelyova and Anastasiya Voynova being paired together. It was the 2020 World Championships runner-up Voynova who triumphed. Shmelyova went out of the competition after finishing last of three in her repêchage. All the other fancied riders made it through to the last 16, although team sprint gold medallist Bao Shanju needed the repêchage to qualify.

The cream of the 1/8 finals were the clashes between Friedrich and Voynova, and the one between recent team sprint medallists Zhong Tianshi and Hinze. The two Germans got the better of their opponents to reach the quarter-finals. Britain’s Katy Merchant and Hong Kong’s Sarah Lee met for a second time in the quarter-final after Merchant had already beaten her opponent in the 1/16 finals.

The only quarter-final to require a decider was between Ukraine’s Olena Starikova and Friedrich, with the German losing narrowly. Friedrich’s team-mate Hinze beat the new keirin gold medallist Shanne Braspennincx in two straight races. The other quarter-finals were also decided in two races with Kelsey Mitchell beating Lauriane Genest in the race between the two Canadians. The fourth and final heat saw Britain’s Katy Marchant eventually beaten by the 2019 world champion Sarah Lee.

The semi-finals saw the two favourites Lee and Hinze both eliminated. Starikova beat Lee in two races while Canada’s Mitchell disposed of Hinze, also in two races. The gold medal went to Kelsey Mitchell, who beat the more experienced former 500m time trial world Championship silver medallist Olena Starikova, while the bronze went to the 2019 world sprint champion Lee, who beat Hinze. Mitchell, who only took up cycling in 2017, won the second ever medal by a Canadian woman in the sprint, following Lori-Ann Muenzer’s gold at Athens in 2004.

1Kelsey MitchellCANGold
2Olena StarikovaUKRSilver
3Sarah LeeHKGBronze
4Emma HinzeGER
5Lea-Sophie FriedrichGER
6Katy MarchantGBR
7Shanne BraspennincxNED
8Lauriane GenestCAN
9Mathilde GrosFRA
10Zhong TianshiCHN
11Ellesse AndrewsNZL
12Anastasiya VoynovaROC
13Kaarle McCullochAUS
14Yuka KobayashiJPN
15Bao ShanjuCHN
16Maddie GodbyUSA
17Darya ShmelyovaROC
18Daniela GaxiolaMEX
19Simona KrupeckaitėLTU
20Yuli VerdugoMEX
21Lee Hye-JinKOR
22Charlene Du PreezRSA
23Liubov BasovaUKR
24Miglė MarozaitėLTU
25Urszula ŁośPOL
26Marlena KarwackaPOL
27Kirstie JamesNZL
28Jessica LeeHKG
29Coralie DemayFRA
DNSLaurine van RiessenNED