Tokyo 2020 Olympics track cycling day four: First British gold, women's Keirin and more match sprints

Matt Walls nailed the tactics in the Omnium to take Team GB's first gold medal on the track

Matt Walls wins Team GB's first track cycling gold of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The fourth day of track racing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was dominated by fast men and bunch racing with the men's Omnium and match sprints as well as the women's Keirin.

It was the Omnium that will get the most attention from British fans as Matt Walls pulled off Team GB's first gold medal of the Games after a perfect tactical display, winning the first event and taking a podium in the next four to pull off a near-perfect ride to take him to gold. 

Campbell Stewart of New Zealand stole silver away from defending champion Elia Viviani of Italy in the final couple of laps of the points race thanks to stealing a lap, leaving the Italian disappointed with the bronze.

>>> Britain’s Matt Walls wins gold in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Omnium, Elia Viviani claims bronze

In the women's Keirin, it was the deciding rounds and the final with Katy Marchant looking to put in a big ride. A crash in her first round of the day however saw her miss out on the qualification spots after looking strong the day before.

She wasn't the only big gun to miss out on the final with former world champion Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong, Kaarle McCulloch of Australia and current world champion Emma Hinze of Germany also all losing out in later rounds.

It was a surprising looking final with Canada and Ukraine getting two riders each in Olena Starikova, Liubov Basova (both Ukraine) and Kelsey Mitchell (Canada). The bronze medal went to Lauriane Genest (Canada), silver went to New Zealand with Ellesse Andrews taking that, but the gold went to the Netherlands again with Shanne Braspennincx head and shoulders above the rest in the final dash for the line.

The women's keirin final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The other event in today's schedule was the men's match sprint. The heats headed into the quarter-finals to decide who would be riding in the semi-finals and medal finals tomorrow.

It wasn't meant to be for double defending champion Jason Kenny; the joint-most successful British Olympian failed to beat super-fast Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen. The flying Dutchman didn't need the full best of three rides as he took the win in the first two to progress to the semi-finals. 

It wasn't all doom and gloom in the event for Britain as Jack Carlin knocked out experienced German rider Max Levy in two sprints with the Scottish rider looking very strong heading into the next round.

Joining those two is the favourite for the gold Jeffrey Hoogland as well as Russian Olympic Committee rider Denis Dmitriev, both of whom came through their heats successfully. Only Dmitriev needed to go the full three races with his opponent Nicholas Paul of Trinidad & Tobago.

The fifth day of riding sees the finals of the men's match sprints, the women's match sprint qualifying gets underway and the first-ever Olympic women's Madison.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.