Britain’s Jason Kenny makes Olympic history with keirin gold
Newsfrom JapanSports Tokyo 2020
Shizuoka, Japan | AFP
by Tom ALLNUTT
Jason Kenny won the men’s keirin at the Izu Velodrome on Sunday to collect his seventh Olympic gold medal, overtaking Chris Hoy as Britain’s most successful Olympian of all time.
Kenny put on a spectacular performance in the final, speeding away from the pack before completing victory ahead of Azizulhasni Awang. Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen had to settle for bronze.
After missing out on golds in the men’s team and individual sprints at the 2020 Games, Kenny’s chances looked slim in the keirin but the 33-year-old rolled back the years with a vintage display of explosive speed.
Kenny also pulls clear of Bradley Wiggins as the most-decorated British Olympian ever. He now owns nine medals, including seven golds and two silvers across Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo.
He is the first athlete from any country to win eight Olympic medals in track cycling.
Kenny, who briefly retired after Rio 2016, is still to confirm whether he will continue beyond Tokyo 2020.
But at the end of a week in which he has been largely outgunned by the emerging Dutch speed merchants, this win could yet encourage him to try to add to his medal haul at the 2024 Games in Paris.
After crossing the line comfortably in front of the rest of the field, Kenny threw his arms into the air before breaking into tears on his victory lap.
His wife, Laura Kenny, could also be on the podium again later on Sunday, although she has an uphill battle to win a medal in the women’s omnium.
She has already won gold in the madison and silver in team pursuit in Shizuoka, taking the Kenny couple’s total Olympic medal haul to 15, including 12 golds.
© Agence France-Presse