Lauriane Genest and Kelsey Mitchell had a spectacular Olympic debut, securing their place in the Keirin final after breezing through three heats over two days of racing. Genest was physically and tactically strong in the final, sprinting to third place in the last lap to secure a bronze medal for Canada.
“I’m pretty stoked,” said Genest. “I’m just very happy with the outcome and I don’t quite realize it yet. In the moment when I crossed the finish line, I didn’t really know what I had done. It’s a life accomplishment honestly, we work so hard every day, we train so hard and it’s dedication and it’s amazing to see that work pay off.”
Genest and Mitchell kicked off the event yesterday by winning their respective heats in the 1/16 finals. They went on to compete in the ¼ finals, where Mitchell won her heat and Genest finished in the top-4 to secure her place in the next round. Competing in the same semi-final race, both women managed to finish in the top-3 and made their way to the finals against a stacked international field.
In the end, the Canadian women raced strong, with Mitchell fading in the last lap and being passed by eventual gold medallist Shanne Braspennincx of the Netherlands, followed by Ellesse Andrews of New Zealand and Genest in third. Mitchell finished the event in 5th place.