Surprise winners are part of the joy of the Olympic Games

From an Austrian cyclist to a Tunisian swimmer, we have already seen some shock wins from underdogs in Tokyo, writes Chris Stevenson

Monday 26 July 2021 00:04
<p>Anna Kiesenhofer celebrates winning gold</p>

Anna Kiesenhofer celebrates winning gold

The run-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo was difficult, to put it mildly. But now that the events are in full swing, we are getting the first surprise wins – and they are always a joy to behold.

Anna Kiesenhofer, an Austrian mathematician who has no professional cycling team attachment, won gold in the cycling road race after helping launch an early breakaway and managing to sustain it. Kiesenhofer finished more than a minute ahead of 2019 world champion Annemiek van Vleuten, so far ahead that Van Vleuten mistakenly celebrated as she crossed the line.

A relative unknown, Kiesenhofer has become the first Austrian to win an Olympic road race medal. “It feels incredible,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. Even when I crossed the line, it was like, ‘Is it done now? Do I have to continue riding?’ Incredible.”

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