Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kenny now Britain’s greatest Olympian



Kenny now Britain’s greatest Olympian

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Gold medallist Britain’s Jason Kenny after the men’s track cycling keirin final on Sunday. AFP

Kenny now Britain’s greatest Olympian

Jason Kenny said he might think twice about retiring from the cycling track after winning his seventh Olympic gold on Sunday to become Britain’s most successful Olympian of all time.

The 33-year-old produced a dazzling performance in the men’s keirin final to win his ninth medal overall and overtake Chris Hoy, who won six golds.

Elsewhere on the final day of action at the Izu Velodrome, Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell won the women’s sprint and America’s Jennifer Valente took gold in the women’s omnium.

But Kenny stole the show and has now also surpassed retired cyclist Bradley Wiggins as the most-decorated British Olympian ever, with seven golds and two silvers across four Games.

The defending champion finished ahead of Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang and Dutch world champion Harrie Lavreysen – who won gold medals in the sprint and team sprint at the Tokyo Games – after pulling off a stunning ambush in the final.

The keirin involves riders lurking behind a pace-maker until the last three laps and Kenny caught his opponents napping by immediately launching into an incredible sprint.

The veteran rider, who briefly retired after Rio 2016, is yet to confirm if he will continue beyond the Tokyo but admits his latest triumph has given him pause for thought.

Asked if this was his final race, Kenny said: “If you’d asked me this morning I would have said ‘yeh, probably’, but now I feel pretty good so I might carry on.”

Kenny had looked like a fading force for most of the week in the Izu Velodrome, where he took a silver medal in the team sprint before being outclassed in the individual sprint by Lavreysen.

Niggles

“This morning in my head I was 33 and getting slower,” he said. “From a British cycling point of view you’d rather back someone who is 20 and getting faster. It was difficult.

“I haven’t been able to train the way I want to, I’ve had niggles. It might not be up to me (whether he stays in the team). I was disappointed with my pace here so it might be out of my hands.”

On his victory lap, Kenny tossed away his helmet before throwing his arms into the air. On the podium, Awang and Lavreysen hoisted Kenny onto their shoulders.

Kenny’s wife, Laura, was unable to add to her own medal haul, finishing sixth in the women’s omnium, an event in which she won gold in 2012 and 2016.

Laura Kenny won gold in the madison and silver in the team pursuit at the Tokyo Games, taking the Kenny couple’s total Olympic medal haul to 15, including 12 golds.

US cyclist Valente won the race, finishing 14 points ahead of Yumi Kajihara, who took silver to win Japan’s first medal on the track. Dutch rider Kirsten Wild took bronze.

Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell won gold in the women’s sprint, just four years after taking up the sport.

Mitchell won the first two races in a best-of-three final against Olena Starikova of Ukraine. Hong Kong’s Lee Wai-sze took bronze.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement