Tokyo Olympics, Cycling: Dutchman Lavreysen powers to gold in men's sprint final

Harrie Lavreysen became the first Dutchman in almost 90 years to win the Olympic track cycling sprint, as he edged out teammate Jeffrey Hoogland in a tense final.

Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland of the Netherlands in action at the Tokyo Olympics.   -  REUTERS

Harrie Lavreysen became the first Dutchman in almost 90 years to win the Olympic track cycling sprint, as he edged out teammate Jeffrey Hoogland in a tense final on Friday.

The 24-year-old lost the opening race of the best-of-three showdown, and Hoogland was within half the width of a wheel to becoming champion in the second.

A cagey start to the decider almost saw them come together as they jockeyed for prime position but when world champion Lavreysen squeezed the throttle as the bell sounded there was nothing Hoogland could do.

Lavreysen's win ended Britain's Olympic domination of the men's sprints which had stretched back to the 2008 Beijing Games, although there was some consolation for Britain with Jack Carlin beating Russian Denis Dmitriev in the bronze-medal race.

The last Dutchman before Lavreysen to win the Olympic men's sprint was Jacobus van Egmond in 1932.

Flying Dutchmen Lavreysen and Hoogland had already delivered gold this week in the team sprint, beating Britain in the final.

Incredibly, that was the country's first Olympic title in men's track cycling since 1936.

In Friday's semifinals Lavreysen ended Carlin's hopes of following in the wheel tracks of Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny -- Hoy having win in 2008 and Kenny in 2012 and 2016.

Hoogland had beaten Russian veteran Dmitriev, and the only question after that was which orange rocket would flash across the winning line at the Izu Velodrome.

Lavreysen's gold means the Netherlands now has three golds in the velodrome this week, one more than Britain in the battle for dominance on the boards.

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