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Canada earns spots in six track events for Rio Olympics

Cycling Canada will be selecting athletes for six events in track cycling after receiving quota spots for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro.

Annie Foreman-Mackey
Annie Foreman-Mackey
Annie Foreman-Mackey won a bronze medal in London helping Canada earn spots for the Olympic Games. Photo credit: Kevin Mackinnon

Canada has secured spots to six track events at the 2016 summer Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro in August. The final qualifying event before the Olympics was the track world championships, which were held at the beginning of March in London. Canada took home two silver and two bronze medals in that event.

Canada qualified in all five women’s events on the track for Rio. Kate O’Brien and Monique Sullivan finished ahead of Colombia and Venezuela in the team sprint at the world championships guaranteeing a spot in the event for the Olympics. Two spots for both the sprint and keirin events had also been secured.

“It’s a great feeling to officially know that we’ve reached our primary goal of qualifying our top internationally performing track programs,” said Jacques Laundry Cycling Canada’s high-performance director. “After focusing all our collective energies on Olympic qualification for the last two years, it is now time to recover and start really focusing on Rio.”

The women’s team pursuit squad has been among the best in the world with three silver medals (2013, 2014, 2016) and two bronze medals (2012, 2015) at the five previous editions of the world championships. They have a position in Rio and will be looking to better their bronze medal from the London Olympics in 2012. Allison Beveridge helped secure a spot in the women’s omnium after finished fourth at the championships. She also won gold in the omnium at the past season’s World Cup in the event New Zealand.

The men qualified for a spot in the keirin but injuries sustained by Hugo Barrette prior to the first round of the World Cup dashed hopes of qualifying for a position in the team sprint. Barrette earned a win in the men’s keirin at the final round of the World Cup. Remi Pelletier-Roy suffered a collarbone injury prior to the start of the season and fell out of contention for a spot in the omnium.

Laundry said, “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 eight to top three 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 athletes selected for the Olympics will be announced later in the year based on the criteria of Cycling Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee.