Cyclist Lee Hye-jin Wins Korea's 1st-Ever World Cup Gold Medal in Keirin

  • By Kim Eun-gyeong

    December 03, 2019 10:26

    Lee Hye-jin poses after winning the women's keirin at the International Cycling Union Track World Cup in Hong Kong on Sunday. /Yonhap

    Track cyclist Lee Hye-jin has become the first Korean to win a gold medal in keirin at a Track World Cup.

    Lee, ranked No. 4 in the world, finished first in the women's keirin final in the third leg of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Track World Cup in Hong Kong on Sunday.

    Keirin is a sprint race in which cyclists complete eight laps on a 250-m track. The men's keirin was officially adopted as a competitive event at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, while the women's event was added for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    Lee was a medal hopeful at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but finished eighth after losing her balance when an athlete ahead of her fell.

    At the Asian Games in Indonesia last year, she won a silver each in sprint and keirin and a bronze medal in team sprint. "It just brought back all the moments when I narrowly missed a victory," Lee said. "I feel like this World Cup medal has given me another chance" to keep going and aim for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    The points from the UCI Track World Cup serve as ranking points for the Olympic Games.

    The event's fourth leg will be held in New Zealand from Friday through Sunday and the fifth leg in Australia from Dec. 13 through 15.

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