Canada’s Mitchell, Genest advance to quarters of women’s keirin in track cycling

Canadian track cyclists Kelsey Mitchell and Lauriane Genest both advanced to the quarter-final of the women’s keirin on Wednesday in Tokyo.

Mitchell, of Sherwood Park, Alta., finished at the top of her heat with a time of 11.391 seconds, just one-tenth of a second ahead of Mexico’s Daniela Gaxiola, who also automatically qualified.

The 27-year-old Mitchell took the lead halfway through the six-lap race and never looked back.

Genest, of Lévis, Que., trailed for much of her heat before finding the perfect moment to come around from the back of the pack and overtake everybody as the final lap approached. From that point, the 23-year-old kicked it into high gear to close out the race in first.

Genest finished with a time of 11.183 seconds, 0.075 ahead of American Madalyn Godby, who also automatically qualified with her top-two finish in the race.

The quarter-finals are set to take place Thursday. 

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