‘I’m coming for you, Sarah’: controversial Kristina Vogel issues warning to Hong Kong medal hope Lee Wai-sze
Kristina Vogel has vowed to go hard at Hong Kong medal hope Sarah Lee Wai-sze on Tuesday but their Rio Olympics sprint quarter-final may be overshadowed by the German’s controversial comments calling into question "cannon fodder" Great Britain’s domination of the sport.
World keirin champion Vogel completed a "painless" 1/8 round victory over New Zealand's Natasha Hansen and warned that she will be fresh and hungry against the Hong Kong rider.
WATCH: golden moments on Day 9 at the Rio Olympics
However, Vogel deflected attention from her best-of-three quarter-final by raising doubts about Great Britain, who have been in golden form in cycling so far.
“They were cannon fodder when you look at the last few years,” Vogel said of the British team. “Now they come along with a high level.
Vogel's comments are almost certain to hang over her when she takes on Lee, which might work in the Hong Kong rider's favour, but the German said her easy win over Hansen means she is raring to go.
"That was painless, as desired, it went quite well," said Vogel after her second-round win. "I am glad, now I can pack it all together and go hard tomorrow."
WATCH: relive the action involving Hong Kong athletes on Day 10 at the Rio Olympics
Lee reached the quarter-finals by beating Australian veteran Anna Meares, who caused the Hong Kong cyclist to fall in Sunday’s keirin semi-final and thus denying her the chance of a medal.
The London Olympics bronze medallist in the keirin, Lee was leading with half the race gone on Sunday but tumbled to the track after Meares nudged her handlebars.
But there were no hard feelings on Monday as the pair hugged each other on the warm-down lap and Meares was seen speaking into Lee’s ear.
“I just told her she had a great race and I hope she goes on to win it,” said Meares, the keirin bronze medallist on Saturday who was knocked out in the sprint repêchage by China’s world champion Zhong Tianshi.
In the Lee-Meares clash, the Australian started off with Lee tracking her at a snail’s pace. With one and-a-half laps to go, Lee took the initiative, but Meares fought back as they revved up to full sprint.
Lee was half a bike length behind with half a lap to go, but brilliantly clawed back from the outside to pip Meares on the line.
Lee has been banned from speaking to the media while she prepares for her races and, although she failed to win a medal in the keirin, she has looked in formidable form at the Olympic Velodrome. She is hoping to be Hong Kong’s first multiple medal winner at the Olympics.
WATCH: Hong Kong's star cyclist Sarah Lee is set to shine at the Olympics again
Also through to the next round is the keirin gold medallist Elis Ligtlee, of the Netherlands, who overcame Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite.
China’s Zhong was beaten by Russia’s Anastasiia Voinova by the narrowest of margins, 0.001 of a second, in heat four of the second round, but she grabbed her chance to get back into the fray by beating Meares in one of the repêchages.
Zhong also accounted for Miriam Welte of Germany in the repêchage battle and takes on Great Britain’s Rebecca James in the quarter-finals.
In the men’s omnium race, Hong Kong’s Leung Chun-wing provisionally finished a creditable 11th after surging in the final two races.
Leung was in 18th place after the time trial but scored strongly in the flying lap to move up to 11th. He stayed that way after the gruelling points race.
He clocked 13.265 seconds in the flying lap at an average speed of 67.847km/h. New Zealand’s Dylan Kennett had the fastest time of 12.506.