| Event type

Omnium, Women

Date 8 August 2021
LocationIzu Velodrome, 1826 Ono, Izu, Shizuoka 410-2402, Japan
Participants21 from 21 countries
FormatFour events, points given for placement in each event. Final standings determined by total points for the four events.

There was a change to the omnium format in Tokyo. At Rio, it consisted of six endurance events over two days, now it was just four events over one gruelling day. Laura Kenny was aiming to win her third consecutive Olympic omnium in the last track event of the 2020 Games. She was also hoping to add to her total of five gold medals, and was inspired after seeing husband Jason win his seventh gold a short while earlier.

Standing in Kenny’s way were some extremely good cyclists in this four-discipline event. Kirsten Wild was seen as the biggest threat to Kenny’s domination. The Dutch rider was the 2019 omnium world champion, as well as winning the madison world title that year, and again in 2020. The 2019 and 2020 World Championships silver medallist Letizia Paternoster of Italy was another rider in with a chance, as was Jennifer Valente, a member of the USA pursuit team that won Olympic bronze just a few days earlier. The home crowd had their own favourite in the reigning world champion Yumi Kajihara.

Kenny’s chance of retaining her title was severely disrupted when she was sent hurtling to the track in a multi-rider pile up on the penultimate lap of the opening scratch race. She did not finish the race and was one of nine riders each awarded 16 points, but America’s Valente got the maximum 40 points with Kajihara taking second on 38, and Wild finishing third for 36 points. Kenny came back to take maximum points in the new tempo race but still trailed Valente by 20 points. France’s Clara Copponi took maximum points from the elimination race while Kenny only scored 13 in what was regarded as her best element. Going into the final race, the points race, Valente led by just two points from Kajihara with Norway’s Anita Stenberg a further 14 points behind.

Despite being the top scorer in the points race with 24, it was too much ground for Laura Kenny to make up and she finished sixth. Valente survived a crash in the latter part of the points race, but her 14 points in the last race gave her a total of 124, which was good enough to take gold. Kajihara could not capitalise and scored just two points to finish four points behind Valente. Kirsten Wild scored well and got to within two points of the local favourite to take the bronze medal.

Jennifer Valente won a third consecutive omnium medal for the USA, but it was their first gold after Sarah Hammer’s bronzes in 2012 and 2016. It was also America’s first track cycling gold of the Tokyo Games and their first Olympic gold on the track since Marty Nothstein won the individual sprint at Sydney in 2000.

PosCompetitorNOCEvent PointsScratch Race PointsScratch Race PlaceTempo Race PointsTempo Race PlacementElimination Race PointsElimination Race PlacementPoints Race PointsPoints Race Placement
1Jennifer ValenteUSA124401363344143Gold
2Yumi KajiharaJPN110382325382210Silver
3Kirsten WildNED1083253822011182Bronze
4Amalie DideriksenDEN103268306363114
5Anita StenbergNOR9734434426839
6Laura KennyGBR9616134011613241
7Maria MartinsPOR9530626832575
8Clara CopponiFRA85161324940157
9Allison BeveridgeCAN782872011287211
10Holly EdmondstonNZL672491414221076
11Liu JialiCHN6522102871414113
12Annette EdmondsonAUS613631812618112
13Emily KayIRL5616131613249016
14Elisa BalsamoITA50161322101215014
15Mariya NovolodskayaROC5018121016181248
16Tatsiana SharakovaBLR3620111215419015
17Olivija BaleišytėLTU341613817306-2017
DNFEbtissam MohamedEGY1613618817DNF
DNFPang YaoHKG16134191016DNF
DNFLotte KopeckyBEL1613DNF
DNFDaria PikulikPOL1613DNF