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Old 10-24-04, 12:25 PM   #1
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Japanese Keirn Question

Ok, so Keirin is an Olympic sport, right. But here's what I don't get: how come the Japanese don't even place? You'd think they'd kick ass. Theories?
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Old 10-24-04, 12:32 PM   #2
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from what i've heard, keirin is often very much like short-track speed skating in that it is largely a race of luck and strategy. lots of pushing/bumping/cutting off, and lots of opportunities to crash and lose your lead or gain the lead when others crash. or alternatively, a crappy place in the pack can ensure that you'll lose even if your legs are in better shape than others.
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Old 10-24-04, 12:53 PM   #3
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I don't see how a race can be both a race of luck and one of strategy. The two are sort of polar opposites. And if it were really a case of luck, then there wouldn't be much point in wagering on it. It would also make a really stupid Olympic sport. Olympic dice, anyone?
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Old 10-24-04, 01:01 PM   #4
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well, there is an element of good and bad luck in every sport. it just so happens that (if i'm correct) there is more luck involved in keirin. or more opportunity for good or bad luck determining your outcome.

and i don't think luck and strategy are polar opposites. what about poker or blackjack? you have to deal with the cards you're dealt, but there are obviously good poker strategies and bad ones.

The aspect of luck, and the possibility that anything can happen is the reason why keirin is such a huge betting sport in japan. there are obviously going to be favorites, riders who are simply faster than other riders, but there will still be the possibility that a longshot rider can sweep in and take the win.
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Old 10-24-04, 01:05 PM   #5
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To the first point, sure there is an element of luck in any sport, even one with the most deterministic rules: the luck that you won't break a bone, or suffer a brain fart, or get the hiccups, or whatever. As for the second, I maintain that they're polar or at least dialectical (!) opposites. Good strategy involves managing luck. The best poker players have an understanding, at least implicitly, of proabability. They play off that. The best strategies can be undone though by poor luck.

But the question remains: how come the Japanese do so poorly at Olympic Keirin? Are pro Keirin riders allowed to compete or only amateurs?
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Old 10-24-04, 01:06 PM   #6
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make sense to me.
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Old 10-24-04, 03:25 PM   #7
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as far as i know, the Japanese performance in the olympic keirin race was a huge dissapointment, which suggests that they were expected to do better, which in turn suggests that there is no immediately obvious answer to why they did so poorly.
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Old 10-24-04, 03:35 PM   #8
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They failed to place anywhere *near* the top in 2000 and 2004. That's more than just an anomaly. Interesting.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:01 PM   #9
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they make good money racing in japan. there's no money on offer in the olympics. they'd have to give up earnings to waste time in the olympics. it think it's more complicated, but its something like that.
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Old 10-24-04, 09:16 PM   #10
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Japanese Keirin is slightly different than Olympic Keirin.

1 - they don't use motorcycles to pace the riders. They use a Bicycles.
2- they don't jockey as hard as the Olympic. meaning they don't get to aggressive in the final 200 meters.
3 - When those strong in Japanese keirin do leave the Japanese version they can do outstanding

See Koichi Nakano
1986 Colorado Springs (usa) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Hidejuki Matsui (jpn) Nobuyuki Tawara (jpn)
1985 Bassano del Grappa (ita) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Yoshiyuki Matsueda (jpn) Ottavio Dazzan (ita)
1984 Barcelona (spa) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Ottavio Dazzan (ita) Yavé Cahard (fra)
1983 Zürich (swi) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Yavé Cahard (fra) Ottavio Dazzan (ita0
1982 Leicester (gbr) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Gordon Singleton (can) Yavé Cahard (fra)
1981 Brünn (czs) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Gordon Singleton (can) Keni Takahashi (jpn)
1980 Besançon (fra) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Mas. Ozaki (jpn) Daniel Morelon (fra)
1979 Amsterdam (net) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Dieter Bergmann (wge) Michel Vaarten (bel)
1978 München (wge) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Dieter Bergmann (wge) Yos. Sugata (jpn)
1977 San Cristóbal (ven) Koichi Nakano (jpn) Yos. Sugata (jpn) John Nicholson (aus)

They aren't leaving the sport in Japan for the masses outside.

S/F,
CEYA!
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Old 11-01-04, 10:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Ok, so Keirin is an Olympic sport, right. But here's what I don't get: how come the Japanese don't even place? You'd think they'd kick ass. Theories?
too many world class australian riders dont give anyone a chance e.g Ryan Bailey/Shane Kelly/Stuart O'Grady..........
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Old 12-31-04, 06:11 AM   #12
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G'day All, I second that, go the boys, take the gold and don't look back?
The Australians are just too good and the others don't get a look in?
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Old 12-31-04, 08:19 PM   #13
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Similar reason as why for years the USA did not win the basketball medals. Japanese Keirin racers are professionals and the best ones won't take time off from work to go to the olympics to win a medal. Also, I think they give up most of their personal freedoms to live like monks in dormitories. This is done to discourages race 'fixing'. A racer would require permission from the Keirin federation to go. They'll only give it if they get a formal request and I don't think any has ever been made. Of course, you may remember Kochi Nakano. He was wealthy enough and had enough influence within the Keirin federation that he took himself to the Track World's and won the Sprint Gold for a whole bunch of years in succession. I think it was like ten (10) years, but now as I write it it seems unbelievable, but it was a whole bunch. The last year though, he 'stole' it from Canadian Gord Singleton. He couldn't beat Gord so he put him down on the deck. The Japanese staff then ran circles around the Canadain team (with political tactics) to stave off out-right disqualification. So Gord was required to do a re-run of the last race, after he had cleanly won the first, but could not because of a dislocated shoulder. The 'win' was then awarded to Kochi. After that win Kochi retired and never came back to the World's. Still, though, his record is impressive, and for many years he was unstoppable. Gord retired too, in total disgust, and went home to manage his father's tire business in St. Catharines where he still is. If you're ever out riding in the Niagara region on the Canadian side, you could run into Gord out on a ride. Don't challenge him to a sprint though, unless you're really fast.
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Old 02-11-05, 02:36 PM   #14
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this is from the UCI official site :

" So why do the Japanese not dominate in the race they invented?
The Japanese Keirin has some significant differences to the international interpretation of this race. For a start, tracks there are banked less steeply than in most other places, and an all-weather asphalt surface permits Keirin racing in the rain, which would not happen at a world championship or world cup meeting. Furthermore, the approach of Japanese Keirin racers is to win as much money as they can all the time. This means staying at a high level of fitness for several months of the year. To reach the peak needed for success at the world championship would demand a recovery period afterwards, which would harm earning potential. So from the professional point of view, it makes no sense. One final significant difference is that in the Japanese Keirin, riders start the race lined out across the track. In the international version, they start in a single file along the track."
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Old 02-12-05, 11:54 PM   #15
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Another explanation..

http://www.roadcyclinguk.com/news/ar...98911328285278

"At the World Championships in 1977, the sprint final at San Cristobal, Venezuela had a great face off between two Japanese keirin racers, Koichi Nakano and Yorikazu Sugata. Koichi Nakano won the championship and Sugata runner up. Nakano, who was the first Japanese rider to win a Sprint gold medal, was only 21 years old. He then set a new 'Lance-style' record by winning ten consecutive World Sprint victories. "

"These guy's are big stars in Japan and can earn Premiership footballer type salaries. Which might explain why they choose to mainly race in Japan and not ride in the less lucrative World Cups"

Edit: In the article, it says keirin racers are allowed to use only Japanese frame and components. It sounds like that's where NASCAR learned their way.

Last edited by allgoo19; 02-13-05 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 03-11-05, 06:31 PM   #16
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My understanding is that the Pro-Kieren riders are also sequestered during the season. Living in dorms and with little contact with the outside work. When Marty Nothstien was doing the Keiren in Japan he made crazy loot but was out of form when he left. Everything revolves around your fitness there.

Just what I heard....

It is all about the madison
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Old 03-11-05, 09:26 PM   #17
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I have read that the top Japanese Pros view the Olympics in the same way as American major league baseball players: kid stuff that ain't worth the time. Baseball sent minor league players to the Olympics. And Japan sent minor league bike riders to the Olympics.

Japanese bike racing is open to any Australian rider who is good enough. None have been good enough.
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Old 03-12-05, 09:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazzmeister
Furthermore, the approach of Japanese Keirin racers is to win as much money as they can all the time.
....what an amazing statement
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Old 03-13-05, 07:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston

Japanese bike racing is open to any Australian rider who is good enough. None have been good enough.
Absolute nonsense. I'm sure the Neiwands, Pates, Kellys, Dajkas etc of this world would be amazed at this statement, if they weren't busy counting the huge wads of cash they won when dominating the international Keirin series.
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Old 03-13-05, 08:33 AM   #20
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Non-Japanese manufacturers can produce NJS Keirin parts (for example the--now defunct?--NJS Campagnolo ensemble).
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Old 03-13-05, 10:37 AM   #21
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I have heard that it's ridiculously difficult to get the NJS stamp, that it was next to impossible to get a non-Japanese product approved, and that Campy spent a great deal of time and effort getting their stuff approved and that ultimately it wasn't worth it.

Japan is very careful to protect its national icons from gaijin influence.
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Old 03-14-05, 02:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
I have read that the top Japanese Pros view the Olympics in the same way as American major league baseball players: kid stuff that ain't worth the time. Baseball sent minor league players to the Olympics. And Japan sent minor league bike riders to the Olympics.

Japanese bike racing is open to any Australian rider who is good enough. None have been good enough.


A major part of winning an Elite Keiran is getting two riders in the final.

Earth to alanbikehouston: Australians regularly ride in the Japanese Keiran's
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Old 03-14-05, 04:18 AM   #23
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My opinion, just ask Tomity.
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Old 02-28-07, 07:12 AM   #24
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The English invented cricket and football (and cycling) but they don't win everything.

I trained with the Japanese team for two years. They were:

too slow
resistant to change
trained through injury
were poor tacticians
refused to try new food
refused to try Western style massage
didn't spend long enough in the gym
didn't seem to want to win enough
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Old 02-28-07, 12:31 PM   #25
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Ceya: you got your stats wrong.... 1982 Gord Singleton(CAN), Danny Clark(AUS), then a Japanese rider in third.

Bostontrevor: It's not that difficult to get the approval if its built to spec. Chris Hoy and Craig Mclean both rode NJS approved Dolan's, All the frenchmen rode bikes built by Look, Curt Harnett rode an approved Gardin. Weather or not Theo's bike was built by Koga or not it was approved also.

Last edited by CafeRacer; 02-28-07 at 12:40 PM.
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