Tokyo Olympics: Postponement blessing in disguise for cyclist Liv Podmore

Kiwi cyclist Liv Podmore.
Kiwi cyclist Liv Podmore. Photo credit: Photosport

Having to wait another year for the Tokyo Olympics could provide salvation for some Games hopefuls, including Kiwi track cyclist Liv Podmore.

Podmore's spot was in doubt, after the women's sprint team failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at February's world championships in Berlin. 

The New Zealand team of Podmore and Natasha Hansen placed 10th during the qualification round, less than three months after winning gold at the Cambridge World Cup meet.

The Olympic track cycling team was about to be named, before the coronavirus pandemic struck, delaying the Games by one year and also pushing out selection deadlines. 

With Ellesse Andrews also in the mix and only two riders to be named in the sprint team - if at all - Podmore's inclusion was looking shaky. 

"[The world championships failure] was really hard to take, because a lot of my teammates tried so hard and when it didn't happen, it was hard to swallow," she told Newshub. 

"It changed the selectors' minds about things and they had to start looking at individual events, but the date change changed things again. 

"It's at the point where, if they have to take the original team, that's fine, but if they don't, it opens the door up again. 

"My coach knows where I'm at and how I feel about things, and this is a great chance to put my hand up."

With the Olympics now scheduled for July/August 2021, Podmore, 22, feels she has a second chance to try qualify for her second Games, after competing in Rio four years ago, where she and Hansen missed out on the top eight. 

"It's a chance to try to get some of my endurance power back.

"Having put so much into the team sprint and being a starter, when i'm not naturally a starter, it took a lot of power out of me, which used to be one of my secret weapons.

"I'm excited to try to get some of that back and show what I can do.

"I'll be doing some different training methods, trying some different strength stuff, which is exciting."