TODAY |

Tearful Ellesse Andrews on stunning silver ride - 'So proud of myself'

Kiwi cyclist Ellesse Andrews has melted hearts around the country with her raw emotion after winning a shock silver in the women's keirin at the Tokyo Olympics last night.

The 21-year-old wasn't expected to be in the hunt at her first Olympics, but rode with composure throughout, reaching the semifinals via the repechage and finishing behind Dutch rider Shanne Braspennincx in the decider.

It was NZ's first medal at the Izu Velodrome, coming shortly before Campbell Stewart also won silver in the men's omnium.

"I can't stop crying," she told Sky Sport shortly after the race.

"In a keirin you have to get the absolute right balance of physical effort and tactical execution, so to get that right today and get a silver medal, I'm so proud of myself."

She thanked everyone back home in NZ who had supported her.

"You've just been with me the whole way, and to come away from this championship with a silver medal is amazing."