Hong Kong’s Sarah Lee strikes sprint gold in Cambridge World Cup event; eyes more glory in keirin
- The 2012 Olympic keirin bronze medallist dominates the race in New Zealand, beating Ukraine’s Olen Starikova 2-0 in the final
Sarah Lee Wai-sze continued her domination of the women’s sprint event after winning gold in World Cup Series in Cambridge, New Zealand on Saturday.
Having won the first two rounds of the series in Paris and Milton, Canada, the Hong Kong rider scored her third consecutive victory in the Olympic programme when she beat Olen Starikova, of Ukraine, 2-0 in the best-of-three final.
Lee’s main rivals Stephanie Morton, of Australia, and Russia’s Daria Shmeleva were absent from Cambridge, giving the Hong Kong rider an easy path from the 200-metre qualifiers – where she finished first with an outstanding time of 10.647 seconds – onwards.
The 31-year-old skipped the previous two rounds in Berlin and London because the 2020 Olympic qualification process only accepts results from the best three rounds. Lee will return to Hong Kong after Cambridge to prepare for the final leg of the season, which will take place at the Tseung Kwan O velodrome next week.
Lee has never won a gold medal in the World Cup series in front of the home crowds but given her stunning form in recent months, she looks a heavy favourite to make her Hong Kong breakthrough.
Lee’s teammate, Jessica Lee Hoi-yan, finished 13th in the qualifiers before reaching the second round, where she was stopped by Mathilde Gros, of France.
Sarah Lee has another chance for gold on Sunday when she competes in the keirin event. She failed to make it to the podium in the kierin in Paris and Milton and is keen to make amends in New Zealand.