Eddie Dawkins time as a competitor at the Olympic Games is over. The Southlander was unable to make it through his repechage heat of the keirin, finishing third, with only the winner of each repechage going through. The result means that Sam Webster is the last Kiwi standing in the keirin
Strength from Malaysia in repechage opener
The first repechage in the men’s keirin saw Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang produce a very strong ride after leading, losing the lead and then regaining the lead to take the only qualifying place in his repechage heat. With only one rider going through in each repechage heat, Awang managed to come back after being muscled to the back of the quartet to retake the lead and win the heat.
On to the second repechage, and five riders instead of the first heat’s four. With 2 laps to go Krysztof Maxel of Poland had his work cut out but he timed his effort perfectly to hit the bell lap in the lead, from there it was a case of defending and he did so successfully to advance through to the next round.
New tactic but no glory for Dawkins
The third repechage pitted Patrick Constable of Australia, Francois Pervis of France, Yuta Wakimoto of Japan, Angel Pulgar of Venezuela and Eddie Dawkins of New Zealand against each other. Dawkins started next to Pervis and this time decided not to go for first place, instead sitting second wheel behind Pervis, with Constable on the Kiwi’s wheel. Wakimoto was just ahead of Pulgar at the back of the field. With just one rider to go through the pressure was on Dawkins to deliver.
This time around he was very conscious of not wanting to get boxed in. With 4 laps to go Dawkins watched the riders behind him, allowing just a little gap to grow to Pervis. As the derny pulled away the Kiwi jumped to lead but he was challenged by Constable. On the bell though Pervis was on his wheel, Dawkins pushed hard and dug deep but Pervis was just too quick and managed to come past Dawkins to knock him out of the competition in third place behind him and Wakimoto; leaving Sam Webster as the sole Kiwi left in the Olympic Games keirin.
Skinner wins then doesn’t
Next up was Maximilian Levy of Germany, up against Callum Skinner of Great Britain, with the pair likely to star in their repechage. Denis Dmitriev of Russia, Matthew Baranoski of the USA and Greece’s Christos Volikakis were also in contention though. Callum Skinner led from the front and with three laps to faced a challenge from Baranoski. The American hit the front with Skinner in tow. On the bell Skinner hit the front and was not to be matched as he took the win to advance.
Unfortunately though the race commissaires were not impressed with the way Callum Skinner came through to pass Baranoski, and he was eliminated, meaning Greece’s Christos Volikakis who had finished second advanced in his stead.