MEDELLIN, Colombia – Colombia’s Fabian Puerta said on Tuesday that he dreams of winning a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after winning gold in the keirin event last week at the World Track Cycling Championships in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn.
“I have always dreamed of winning an Olympic medal. I came close in Rio and I was very unhappy about that because I couldn’t show my best performance,” he told the press in Medellin.
“I hope to continue down this path to feel at ease and win that medal for all of Colombia,” he said, sporting the rainbow winner’s jersey for the first time back in his home country.
Puerta, 26, was crowned champion last Thursday beating Japan’s Tomoyuki Kawabata, who won silver, by 0.043 seconds, while the bronze went to Germany’s Maximilian Levy.
In keirin, cyclists pursue a motorized pacer around the track until the final lap. The race originated in Japan in the late 1940s and became an official Olympic event at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
“I had a very nice feeling before the race. I knew it was possible for me to become champion. I wanted to win and take the jersey home and put it on my son,” Puerta said.
The cyclist was accompanied at the press conference by son Maximilian, who was clad in a tiny replica of his father’s jersey.
Puerta is married to fellow cyclist Juliana Gaviria, sister of Quick-Step Floors rider Fernando Gaviria.