Sarah Lee Wai-sze

Hong Kong cycling ace Sarah Lee back in the reckoning as she fights back to win silver at the Worlds

Hong Kong’s ace rider makes amends for her earlier disappointment in the 500-metre time trial to finish on the podium in her favourite event

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 March, 2018, 11:55pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 March, 2018, 10:54pm

Sarah Lee Wai-sze saved her best for last in the grand finale of the UCI Track World Championships in the Netherlands by clinching silver in the women’s keirin on Sunday.

Shrugging off her disappointing display in the 500-metre time trial qualifiers where she failed to reach the final the previous night, Lee came back with a vengeance in the same event that saw her win bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

It was her fifth World Championships medal and her first since winning two medals in both the time trial and sprint in 2013. Her silver turned out to be Hong Kong’s lone medal in the Netherlands.

On the final day of the competition in Apeldoorn, Lee won her heat in the keirin before finishing in third place in the second round to earn her a place in the six-rider final, which featured defending champion and favourite Kristina Vogel, of Germany.

The Hong Kong rider, who only managed fourth place in the sprint on Friday, bided her time and stayed with the leaders in the first five laps until she burst into action in the final sprint, where she fought it out with Belgium’s Nicky Degrendele of Belgium at the finish.

Watch: UCI Track World Championships (women’s keirin final 1:41.45 onwards)

Degrendele, who came third at year’s Worlds staged in Hong Kong, dashed ahead of Lee to snatch gold while Lee was able to hang on for silver. Simona Krupeckaite, of Lithuania, was third.

Vogel, the sprint champion, could not find a way to break through in the six-lap race and finished last.

The silver medal in the Netherlands proves Lee made the right decision to continue her career in January. The 30-year-old Lee will compete in the Asian Games in Indonesia this summer and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, her two major targets before she probably hangs up her bike.