CANADA RECEIVES QUOTA SPOTS FOR SIX EVENTS IN TRACK CYCLING AT RIO GAMES
Cycling Canada – (Ottawa, ON – March 17, 2016) Cycling Canada is pleased to announce that Canada has received entry spots for six events in the track cycling events at the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.
The final event that counted towards the quotas was the Track World Championships in London, Great Britain, which finished on March 6th. Canada had a strong showing there with four medals [two silver, two bronze]. Subsequently, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced the list of 36 nations that will be able to participate in the Track Cycling events at the Rio Games, and the rider quotas per event.
Canada will be able to enter riders in all five women’s events and one men’s event. Only seven nations received higher quotas then Canada, with Australia, Germany and New Zealand the only nations to receive full quotas for all events for men and women.
“It’s a great feeling to officially know that we’ve reached our primary goal of qualifying our top internationally performing track programs,” said Cycling Canada’s High Performance director, Jacques Landry. “After focussing all our collective energies on Olympic qualification for the last 2 years, it is now time to recover and start really focussing on Rio.”
For the women, Canada has qualified in all five events on the track. After the team of Kate O’Brien and Monique Sullivan finished ahead of their Continental rivals (Colombia and Venezuela) in the Team Sprint at the world championships, it guaranteed a Rio spot for the Team Sprint, plus two rider spots for both the Sprint and Keirin events.
The women’s Team Pursuit squad, who won the silver medal at the world championships, have a Rio position, and Canada has a position for the Omnium, with Allison Beveridge coming off a fourth place at the world championships and a World Cup win in the Omnium.
For the men, the only event Canada has qualified for is the Keirin. Canada had an outside chance at the start of the World Cup season to qualify for the Team Sprint, however, a bad crash for Hugo Barrette prior to the first World Cup dashed those hopes. Barrette fought back to score a silver medal in the final round of the World Cup.
Canada also had a chance to qualify Remi Pelletier-Roy in the men’s Omnium, but Pelletier-Roy suffered a collarbone injury prior to the start of the World Cup season and fell out of contention.
“While it’s a great feeling to have qualified our top programs,” commented Landry, “the feeling is bitter-sweet. We would have wanted to qualify more male spots in the Team Sprint, Omnium and Team Pursuit events, but the reality is that we probably would have needed another year to get there. These programs will be top-8 to top-3 competitive come 2020. For the time being, the focus is on the preparatory process that will lead to great performances in August for our track athletes.”
The actual athlete selections will be announced later in the year, based on published selection criteria from Cycling Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee.
ABOUT CYCLING CANADA
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic, and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High-Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers community programs to promote Cycling in Canada. For more information, please visit: www.cyclingcanada.ca.
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