The track sprint (match sprint or just sprint) is a regular event at the Olympic Games and will feature again for men and women at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The sprint has been in the Games in every edition aside from 1904 for the men, with women competing since 1988.
Here's what you need to know about the sprint at the Olympic Games.
Olympic cycling: Track sprint
The principle of the track sprint is clinically simple – two riders race off over three laps to see who is fastest.
In practice, the riders take part in what can seem a bizarre stalemate, watching each other carefully and waiting for the other to make the first move – until the sprint bursts into life in the closing stages.
In the early stages of the event riders will often move up to the top of the track to try and force the other into the lead (and gain an aerodynamic advantage behind when the sprint starts), even coming to a complete stop in a track stand.
The race commissaire will warn the riders if they hold the track stand for too long, at which point they will begin rolling again (albeit usually quite slowly).
The race will then kick-off, usually in the last lap, when one of the riders begins making their charge for the line. The leading rider will often accelerate first to try and gap the chasing rider. The rider in second wheel will have an aerodynamic advantage and will try to come round the leading rider in the final bend or straight. The leading rider however can hug the tightest inside line on the track to create the shortest distance, or can move further up to force their opponent wider (and therefore a further distance around the track).
The Olympics kick off with a 200m flying lap to establish qualifying times. The 18 fastest riders take part in the 1/16 finals, pairing off with the fastest against the slowest. Winners progress, while losers get the chance to compete in repechage rounds, until eventually eight riders remain for the best-of-three quarter finals.
The semi-finals decide who will compete in the gold medal final, and who will race off for bronze.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycling: Track sprint schedule
Wednesday, August 4, 3.30pm - 7.00pm Japan/7.30am - 11am UK
Men's Sprint Qualifying
Men's Sprint 1/32 Finals
Men's Sprint 1/32 Finals Repechages
Men's Sprint 1/16 Finals
Men's Sprint 1/16 Finals Repechages
Thursday, August 5, 3.30pm - 6:50pm Japan/7.30am - 10.50am UK
Men's Sprint 1/8 Finals
Men's Sprint 1/8 Finals Repechages
Men's Sprint 1/4 Finals
Men's Sprint Final Places 5 to 8
Friday, August 6, 3.30pm - 5.15pm Japan/7.30am - 9.15am UK
Women's Sprint Qualifying
Men's Sprint 1/2 Finals
Women's Sprint 1/32 Finals
Women's Sprint 1/32 Finals Repechages
Men's Sprint Final Places 3-4 & 1-2
Women's Sprint 1/16 Finals
Women's Sprint 1/16 Finals Repechages
Men's Sprint Victory Ceremony
Saturday, August 7, 3.30pm - 6.25pm Japan/7.30am - 10.25am UK
Women's Sprint 1/8 Finals
Women's Sprint 1/8 Finals Repechages
Women's Sprint Quarterfinals
Sunday, August 8, 10am - 1.15pm Japan/2am - 5.15am UK
Women's Sprint Semifinals
Women's Sprint Race Place 5-8
Women's Sprint Finals
Women's Sprint Victory Ceremony
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