Irvine’s Olympic qualification chances boosted in Beijing
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Irvine’s Olympic qualification chances boosted in Beijing

by Shane Stokes at 10:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Irish Omnium rider on course for place in London 2012

Martyn IrvineMartyn Irvine’s aim of securing Ireland a place in the track events at the London Olympics received a boost today with a solid start to his campaign in Beijing.

The 26 year old rider finished second in his qualification heat, then placed 11th in the flying lap, third in the points race and 14th in the elimination event. With three events remaining, he is sitting tenth overall.

However of greater significance to his chances is the fact that Polish rider Mateusz Nowak lost a lap in the qualification race and didn’t get through to the main Omnium competition.

Poland was fifteen points ahead of Ireland in the Olympic rankings, sitting eighth European nation with eight to qualify for London 2012. Now, with Nowak out, Irvine should move Ireland up into that position.

“The Polish guy not qualifying has definitely boosted his chances,” said Cycling Ireland’s CEO Geoff Liffey to VeloNation today.

Irvine told VeloNation yesterday that he was pleased with how he was feeling in advance of the races. “Things are going well,” he said. “My preparation is as normal and I'm injury free and healthy. For me I want a podium here, I know it's in me. I just need to execute each race the best I can and avoid any disasters.”

Coming relatively late to track, he has jumped up a level this year and is now one of the stronger riders in the circuit. He finished fifth in the European championships and was fifth in Cali, the most recent round of the World Cup.

Irvine was controversially disqualified in Astana when he was deemed not to have dropped out of the elimination race quickly enough; he told VeloNation afterwards that he was not aware that he had been edged out in a sprint as the warning light on his bike didn’t activate.

Despite that loss of points, though, he appears to now be in a good position to secure what would be Ireland’s sole track place in the 2012 Olympics.


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