Team GB were forced to pick between the world's top-two sprint
specialists, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy, four years ago before
settling on Kenny who took gold.
After conducting a review process, UCI, cycling's governing body,
and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have agreed the
qualification systems for the four cycling disciplines - Road,
Track, BMX and Mountain Bike.
Under the changes announced by UCI president Brian Cookson on
Wednesday, three more nations will be able to participate in BMX
with the minimum age of competing reduced to 18, while road quota
places through the Africa Tour have increased from five to nine.
"I am delighted that the cycling qualification systems for the Rio
2016 Olympic Games have now been approved," Cookson, who was
appointed UCI president in September, said in a statement.
"I am particularly pleased that we can look forward to more nations
competing in BMX and that extra quota places have been made
available through the Africa Tour circuit for Road and that we will
see more of the world's very best riders compete in the individual
sprint and keirin."
Cookson also announced that host nation Brazil will gain automatic
entry into all four cycling disciplines, rather than just BMX as was
the case in London.
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"With Brazil being granted quota places for Road, Mountain Biking
and BMX the 2016 Games provide a genuine opportunity to build on the
already significant progress the sport has witnessed there in recent
years," he added.
A total of 528 athletes, 325 men and 203 women, are expected to
compete in the 18 cycling events, with the Olympics due to start in
Rio on 5 August 2016.
(Reporting By Michael Hann; editing by Justin Palmer)
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