Cycling couple makes Olympic history
Most successful GB female, male
Trott defends her omnium title
Kenny matches Hoy on six golds
They’re the king and queen of Olympic track cycling – and nobody at Rio 2016 had any way of dethroning them.
Jason Kenny and Laura Trott made it 10 Olympic gold medals between them Tuesday after a dramatic night of track cycling at the velodrome.
The British riders, who will get married next month, stole the show in contrasting style.
Trott took her golden tally to four as she defended her women’s omnium title – making her Britain’s most successful female Olympian.
And Kenny then made history of his own – equaling his former teammate Chris Hoy’s all-time British record of six gold medals after winning a nerve-shredding keirin race, in which he was almost disqualified.
Fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins had become Britain’s most decorated Olympian when he collected his eighth medal after helping the men’s pursuit team to victory last Friday – five of that tally being gold.
At just 24 years of age, few would bet against Trott surpassing the trio.
She helped the British women’s team win the pursuit at the weekend, adding to her two golds in London four years ago.
“I am so proud at what I achieved,” she told reporters.
“I cannot thank the people in the background enough. I always thought how special London (2012 Olympic Games) was.
“I went there without any expectations, so to win two golds was just incredible, and then I thought, ‘How on earth am I going to top that?’ We believed in ourselves, and in our team. It just started to snowball.
“I worked day-in, day-out with those girls, and the team pursuit is what I really targeted. To come back and win the omnium, it’s just incredible.
“You realize how hard it is to do it all again. It was so hard to build myself up and come back again. We did a lot of work in the gym, and completely changed our program.”
On Tuesday, Trott became the first woman to collect a fourth Olympic gold medal in track cycling, surpassing Felicia Ballanger of France on three. She led the two-day, six-event competition from start to finish, leaving the rest of the field to fight for silver and bronze.
Trott won by a commanding 24 points, while the gap between second-placed American Sarah Hammer and Belgium’s Jolien D’Hoore in third was just seven points.
Kenny’s victory was less clear-cut. The keirin race had to be stopped twice after riders were adjudged to have passed the derny pace bike before it had left the track.
The first time it was Kenny and Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang, who had an agonizingly long wait before the judges ruled that all the cyclists could compete in the restart.
Then Germany’s world champion Joachim Eilers over-rode the mark, and again the race was stopped.
When it did finally get going, Kenny timed his move to perfection, overtaking Dutchman Matthijs Buchli and Awang, who won silver and bronze respectively.
Kenny added to his earlier men’s sprint and team pursuit golds in Rio, having won twice at London 2012 and once at Beijing four years before that – also getting silver in China.
“It just felt like a dream. I guess I’m tired. I was just floating through it,” the 28-year-old said. “It’s mental to be level with Chris. I was in Beijing when he won his three so to come here and do the same is pretty amazing.”
Britain won two more medals in Tuesday’s women’s sprint event, with Becky James beaten by Germany’s Kristina Vogel in the final and Katy Marchant winning the bronze race against Elis Ligtlee of the Netherlands.