- 14 Mar 2002
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This is a podcast/interview with the Guardian's Tokyo correspondent Justin McCurry who's just published a book on Keirin entitled "The War on Wheels: Inside the Keirin and Japan's Cycling Subculture". A fascinating insight into Japan's bicycle track races, not only for cycling enthusiasts.
At every Olympics there is one cycling event that stands out above all the rest: keirin. It's been in the Olympics since Sydney 2000, but it's actually based on a form of track cycling that originated in post-war Japan. Keirin is a gambling sport in Japan, and though it's nowhere near as popular as the national pastime baseball, or held in the same regard as sumo, it is still a multi-billion dollar industry, with races taking place up and down the country on an almost daily basis.