Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi cyclist Ellesse Andrews underlines kierin success with sprint record

For about 15 minutes, Kiwi Ellesse Andrews was the fastest woman in Olympic track cycling history.

Riding eighth in a field of 30 sprinters, the keirin silver medallist from Thursday rocketed around the Izu Velodrome to clock 10.563s (68kph) for the timed 200 metres - quicker than Briton Rebecca James' 10.721s from Rio 2016.

How quickly times change.

The Tokyo track cycling venue has proved super fast throughout the week and by the time all 30 riders had completed their turns, Andrews was just the 11th-fastest ever, behind German speed queen Lea Sophie Friedrich's 10.310s.

But her time was a new NZ national record and underlined the promise she showed 24 hours earlier, when she pushed Dutchwoman Shanne Braspennincx - one of those to surpass her in sprint qualifying - to the keirin finish. 

By the end of the night, Andrews was still alive in the match-racing elimination format, through to Saturday's 1/8 round with repechage victory over Bao Shanju, a member of the gold-medal Chinese sprint team. 

Given her exhausting schedule over the past two days, that was probably one race more than she wanted or needed, but typically Andrews shrugged off the inconvenience, still relishing the opportunity to perform at the Olympics.

"After a while, you've got to do what you've got to do," she told Sky Sport. "Every race, I'm putting everything out on the track.

"I'm stoked with the new NZ record - really happy to bring that home."

Andrews barely had time to celebrate her silver medal overnight, before recovery and preparation for her next challenge.

"I'm in my next competition now, my race head is on," she beamed. "One-hundred percent, 100 percent of the time." 

Her next opponent - unbeaten Canadian Kelsey Mitchell, now the second-fastest Olympian, behind Freidrich.

Coming Saturday...

No medals for New Zealand on Friday, but we already have our best medal haul ever, beating the 18 from Rio five years ago. One more gold needed to match the best result from Los Angeles 1984.

That gold could come from canoeing, golf or cycling today. Lydia Ko is tied for third in the golf, entering a final round that may not be played, if the storm forecast proves accurage.

Lisa Carrington will attempt her fourth gold medal of the Games with the K4 crew, while track cyclists Ellesse Andrews, Campbell Stewart and Corbin Strong will feature at the velodrome.


Women's 10,000m final - Camille Buscomb 10:45pm NZ


Women's K4 500 semis & final - Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Regal, Teneale Hatton & Alicia Hoskin 1:14pm NZ & 3:19pm NZ


Women's sprint 1/8 & quarter-finals - Ellesse Andrews 6:33pm NZ & 7:39pm NZ

Men’s Madison - Campbell Stewart & Corbin Strong 7:55pm NZ


Women's individual strokeplay, round 4 - Lydia Ko 11:42am NZ