Yuka Kobayashi

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Yuka Kobayashi (Kobayashi Yuka, 小林 優香, born January 18, 1994) comes from Tosu, Fukoka Prefecture, Japan and is a professional cyclist. In 2013, she graduated from the Japan Keirin School in the 106th class.


As a high school student, she was a member of the Kumamoto Municipal High School volleyball team. In 2010 she participated in the National High School Sports Festival Volleyball Games.

Her vertical jump reached 60 cm [2). But due to her short height of 164 cm, her career as a volleyball player was limited [3]. In 2012, she watched the London Olympic men's team sprint on TV by chance, was immediately attracted to Girls Keirin and resolved to aspire. On December 20, 2012, she attended the Keirin school aptitude test and passed [4].

During her education at the Japan Keirin School, she broke the school records over 200m flying dash (11.94s), 400m flying dash (24.08s), 1000m time trial (1.12.65) and 2000m time trial [5)[6] and was awarded the golden cap for her outstanding performance (5).

Together with her classmate Takako Ishii, she broke the national record in the olympic sprint over the distance of 800 m in 56,33 seconds [7].

On January 24, 2014, Yuka Kobayashi won the Keirin race at the Japan Track Cup and placed second in the sprint [10] [11]. Yuka Kobayashi and Takako Ishii placed 10th in the Olympic Sprint at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

She graduated from Keirin school in March 2014. In the graduation race finals, she only scored third, but was distinguished as # 1 of her graduating class for winning 50 of 58 races until her graduation [8]. At the 83rd All Japan Cycling Championships on April 19-20, she reached the third place in the 500 m time trial (37.229s) [12].

In May 16, 2014, she celebrated her debut as a professional keirin cyclist on the Kishiwada Velodrome and won against the second placed Mashimo Ruruko with a distance of six bicycle lengths. Her winning streak of 17 consecutive victories broke the former record for female keirin pros in Japan. In September 2014, she was only beaten after 22 consecutive victories. From May 2014 to January 2015, she won 50 of a total of 52 races. At the Japanese Track Cycling Championships in April 2015, she won the Team Sprint, scored second in the 500 m time trial and third in the Keirin race.

On 8 and 9 August 2014 she won the Girls Keirin Festival on the Matsudo Velodrome [9] . She is 5'4 feet (164 cm) tall, weighs 149 lbs and has 26 inch thighs (65 cm)[6].


[1] http://datazoo.jp/tv/Crossroad/724977. [2] http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nsp/race_feature/article/86868 [3] http://students.girlskeirin.com/special_report/kobayashi-23.html [4] http://keirin.jp/pc/dfw/portal/guest/news/2012khn/12/pdf/20121220_00_2.pdf [5] http://keirin.jp/pc/dfw/portal/guest/news/?path=2013khn/05/news20130511_01.html [6] http://keirin.jp/pc/dfw/dataplaza/guest/membrecent?SNO=015032 [7] http://keirin.jp/pc/dfw/portal/guest/news/?path=2013khn/07/news20130730_03.html [8] http://keirin.jp/pc/dfw/portal/guest/news/?path=2013khn/10/news20131003_01.html, http://keirin.jp/pc/dfw/portal/guest/news/2014khn/03/pdf/20140331_03_04.pdf [9] http://www.hochi.co.jp/gamble/keirin/20140809-OHT1T50299.html [10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEiwA0o4pRM (video clip by the Girls Keirin Association about Yuka Kobayashi) [11] http://jcf.or.jp/wp2012/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/04/201403.pdf [12] http://jcf.or.jp/wp2012/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/06/201405.pdf