Olympic keirin

It could have been a different outcome in the Keirin event of Track Cycling at the Rio Olympics altogether had the champion, Jason Kenny was disqualified instead.

In a battle where decisions and results are determined in split-seconds, Jason Kenny was judged to have violated a rule in the Keirin and the race was restarted by the judges. He could have easily been disqualified, but a British video footage showed a different angle to show that Kenny did not pass the ‘derny’ before it pulled off the track.

In the Keirin, a derny driver brings the six men up to speed and then pulls off the track to let the powerful sprinters battle for the next 600m. One important caveat – the riders cannot pass the derny before it pulls off the track or they will be disqualified.

Kenny attacked with Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) heading into turn three just as the derny began its exit and immediately the gun went off.

“Normally if they fire the gun and stop the race riders get DQ’d, game over,” said Iain Dyer, Great Britain’s head coach.

Men's Keirin Podium © Graham Watson

Men’s Keirin Podium – Matthijs Buchli took silver, Jason Kenny in gold and Azizulhasni Awang took bronze. 
© Graham Watson

In the tense minutes that followed, it emerged that the Olympic Games velodrome had not been equipped with a camera at the point of the derny’s exit, and lacking a photo finish of the moment showing that Kenny’s front tyre overlapped the derny’s rear tyre, the judges were convinced the move was too close to call.

It also turned out that two British Cycling performance analysts were in the crowd filming at that moment, and provided a video showing how close it was.

“I had a little look on our video straight away and it looked really, really close. It wasn’t obvious,” Dyer said.

“So I asked the commissaire to show me their footage and what they showed me was a head-on shot. They’ve got a camera in turn three looking straight down the back straight. So I offered our footage as they didn’t have a camera.”

The chief commissaire, German Alex Donike, opted to re-start the race with all of the riders on the line.

Immediately after the decision was announced, social media was flooded with allegations of favouritism or cowardice by the judges, but the same kind of infraction occurred with German Joachim Eilers on the re-run of the race. Once again, the video from the British analysts saved the day and all six competed in the final, successful running of the keirin gold medal round.

Source: Cycling News