Hong Kong cycling star Sarah Lee sees off mainland rival in first step towards Rio Olympics medal

London bronze medallist safely through to keirin second round after winning heat in impressive style

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 August, 2016, 9:56pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 August, 2016, 6:15am

Hong Kong’s brightest Olympic medal hope was safely through to the keirin second round after winning her heat at the velodrome on Saturday morning in Rio.

The London 2012 bronze medallist fended off China’s Zhong Tianshi, storming through from the middle of the pack on the last lap in a time of 11.470

Fellow big guns Kristian Vogel of Germany and Anna Meares of Australia were one and two in the first heat, and joining them in the second round are Rebecca James (GB), Lee Hyejin (South Korea), Ellis Ligtlee (Netherlands) and Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania).

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Guo Jinjie, who teamed up with Zhong to win team sprint gold for China the night before, failed to come through the repechage, eliminating one strong mainland rival.

Completing the second round line-up after the repechages are Martha Bayona Pineda (Colombia), Liubov Basova (Ukraine), Laurinn van Reissen (Netherlands) and Anastasiia Voinova (Russia).

Lee avoided Vogel in her heat, but is up against Meares, Basova and Krupeckaite from the top 10, plus James and Van Reissen.

Lee’s coach Shen Jinkang says the 29-year-old rider is in the best form of her life, but her rivals have also warned they’re feeling confident.

The second round is at 3:22am Hong Kong time, the final at 4:27.

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