Nations await confirmation of Olympic places

Picture by Alex Whitehead/

The UCI Track Nations Cup event in Canada marked the end of the qualifying cycle for the Paris Olympics.

Countries have been accumulating qualification points since 2022. Rankings are produced based on each country’s best performer in the last two editions of each continental championship, and the 2023 world championship, along with the two best results from Nations Cup events in each of the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

The criteria can be challenging to understand, but in simple terms:

  • the top 8 countries for Team Sprint get 2 places in both Sprint and Keirin.
  • Then, for countries who didn’t qualify for Team Sprint, the top 7 for Sprint get a quota place in Sprint, and can also claim a place in Keirin (without additional quota).
  • And likewise, the top 7 for Keirin get a quota place in Keirin, and can also claim a place in Sprint (without additional quota).

Additional rules ensure all continents (in UCI terms: Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Oceania) are represented, and place limits on team size and athlete eligibility. calculates that the places will be allocated as follows:

  • Men: Australia (2), Canada (2), China (2), Colombia (1), France (2), Germany (2), Great Britain (2), Israel (2), Japan (2), Lithuania (1), Malaysia (2), Netherlands (2), New Zealand (1), Poland (1), South Africa (1), Suriname (2), Thailand (1), Trinidad & Tobago (2).
  • Women: Australia (2), Belgium (2), Canada (2), China (2), Colombia (2), Egypt (1), France (2), Germany (2), Great Britain (2), Italy (2), Japan (2), Malaysia (1), Mexico (2), Netherlands (2), New Zealand (2), Poland (2).

By Global Keirin‘s reckoning, the continental representation rule means the United States surrenders its women’s sprint place to Egypt. Colombia hands its men’s sprint place to South Africa, but retains its place from keirin.

The official rules are published on the Olympics website (PDF), accompanied by this valiant attempt at a summary.

National Olympic Committees will receive official notification of their allocations within one week (22 April). They must then confirm their intention to take up their allocations within two weeks (6 May). Any remaining places will be reallocated a week later, based on the country rankings (13 May).