Kenny complained that he was not in form for the men’s sprint earlier in the week, but it wasn’t evident from the manner in which he rode away to victory by a gap of 0.763 seconds over Azizulhasni Awang from Malaysia.
Kenny is now the first Briton ever to win nine Olympic medals. He adds this to the team sprint silver he won Tuesday with Jack Carlin, Ryan Owens and Ryan Owens.
Kenny stated, “Seven gold medals are really special. When you look back at the ones that you have already won it seems quite easy.” Then, when you want to get more, it becomes painful. It is easy to forget how hard it takes. This week I’ve been disappointed. I wasn’t as competitive as I wanted. You can still race hard in the keirins and have a bit of luck. “Before today, I had almost given up on my career. I used to count my years in days and races, not years. But maybe now I can buy myself more time.”
Kenny remained alone at the front
Kenny may have been listening to his downbeat assessment about his physical condition after finishing eighth in the individual sprint competition. Matthew Glatzer, Australia’s national wheelman, let go before the derny pulled off. The others were too busy looking at each other to realize that Kenny was already gone. The 33-year old looked over his shoulder to see the advantage he had. He charged away and built what was unassailable. He said, “I couldn’t believe no one came past, it felt like I was standing still in the end.” “I was slogging my way to the last corner, but I kept telling myself that it was a medal. It was unbelievable when I crossed that line.
Jack Carlin, his teammate, was unable to place in the final, but had already earned eight overall. Jack watched open-mouthed as Kenny rode solo, in a different type of race, from the track centre. After finishing fourth in his first round heat, Kenny needed to endure the repackage on Saturday. It was Carlin who won individual bronze and looked the best bet for Britain at the time. It was Kenny, who came second in his quarterfinal before winning the semi. Carlin fell out of medal contention. Although he had already handed his individual and team sprint crowns over this week, Kenny has successfully defended the Rio keirin title. He did this at Izu, the home of the discipline, where Japan’s elite Keirin school is located.
Four Games: Golds
Kenny now holds four gold medals at consecutive Games. He won his first team sprint title in Beijing before taking home the individual and team sprint titles in London and Rio. Five years ago, he also took home the keirin crown.
Harried Liverymen, Holland’s individual sprint champion and arguably the favorite, took bronze. She joined Awang on the podium to hold Kenny high. Kenny could have been forgiven if he lost his focus in this event. His warm-ups for Sunday’s quarter-finals were interrupted by Laura’s crash in the first scratch race of the women’s omnium. Laura was also slow to get up.
Although Laura won the tempo race again, her medal hopes were hampered by an early exit from elimination. She finished sixth on the podium, but was never able to get back in the mix. Laura Kenny stated, “It was a mountain climb from that point. To be honest, the tempo race it took me off adrenaline.” “I did not even ride the rollers. I just started a new bike race. I was done by the time the elimination race arrived. I was sitting in the chair, thinking: “I feel sick, and my back is killing” “I chose the easiest line because it didn’t feel right, and that’s the worst place to go. It didn’t matter what my head was telling me: “You have to get out of this place,” I couldn’t do anything about it. I was too tired.”