Laura Kenny wins fifth Olympic gold medal to join British greats

Sports Tokyo 2020

Britain's Laura Kenny (L), with Katie Archibald, won the fifth Olympic gold of her career as the pair took the inaugural Olympic women's madison. AFP
Britain’s Laura Kenny (L), with Katie Archibald, won the fifth Olympic gold of her career as the pair took the inaugural Olympic women’s madison. AFP

Shizuoka, Japan | AFP

British cyclist Laura Kenny won the fifth Olympic gold medal of her career on Friday as she powered to victory alongside Katie Archibald in the first women’s madison at a Games. 
An emotional Kenny, one half of Britain’s golden cycling couple with husband Jason Kenny, sobbed after winning her first gold since giving birth to her son Albie in 2017 and said she had considered quitting the sport during the pregnancy.

“When I fell pregnant, there was a moment two months into the pregnancy where I woke up and said to Jason, ‘I can’t do this, I’m not going to be able to carry on (with cycling), there’s just no way’. And here we are,” she said.

Kenny and Archibald, now a two-time Olympic champion herself, won 10 of the 12 sprints to finish on 78 points, 43 clear of Denmark, who took silver.

The Russian Olympic Committee took the bronze with 26 points after 120 laps of the Izu Velodrome.

Kenny, 29, finished off the race in style, racing over the line to claim 10 points for winning the final sprint.

Her sixth medal overall brings her level with dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin as Britain’s most-decorated female Olympic athlete.

She also becomes the first British woman to win five gold medals, joining Bradley Wiggins and rower Steve Redgrave on the country’s all-time list, only one behind her husband and Chris Hoy.

The madison success adds to the four golds won across London 2012 and Rio 2016 and the silver Kenny won with the women’s pursuit team earlier this week.

Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny have won seven Olympic gold medals between them. AFP
Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny have won seven Olympic gold medals between them. AFP

Lavreysen sprints to gold

Dutch riders Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland had claimed the team sprint gold as a duo, but faced off for the third straight global championship individual final in the men’s sprint.

Lavreysen had beaten Hoogland in each of the last two world championship finals, although Hoogland got the better of his rival in the 2018 and 2019 European championships.

On Friday, 28-year-old Hoogland edged a tight first race on Friday by a quarter of a wheel and looked set for victory when leading the second race coming round the final bend.
But Lavreysen reeled him in, winning by almost the same margin as he had lost the opener in a tense decider.

The decider was a cagey affair, but Lavreysen made the decisive move on the penultimate bend and held on.

Britain’s Jack Carlin took the bronze medal, winning in two races against Russian veteran Denis Dmitriev.

The Netherlands top the track cycling medal table, winning three of the eight events completed so far.

Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny have won seven Olympic gold medals between them. AFP
Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny have won seven Olympic gold medals between them. AFP

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Tokyo 2020 AFP