Tokyo Olympics: Laura Kenny makes Games history with fifth gold medal

By Sports Desk August 06, 2021

Track cycling queen Laura Kenny scooped the fifth Olympic gold of her stellar career by teaming up with Katie Archibald to win the madison for Great Britain.

Kenny, who was an omnium and team pursuit champion at the 2012 and 2016 Games, became the first British woman to win gold medals at three Olympics.

Archibald was also a victorious British team pursuiter in Rio five years ago, and she and Kenny proved an irresistible partnership in Tokyo's inaugural women's Olympic madison.

They scored a staggering 78 points, with Denmark's Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth second on 35 points and the Russian Olympic Committee's Gulnaz Khatuntseva and Mariia Novolodskaia scoring 26 in taking bronze.

Kenny's win boosts her record tally of women's track cycling gold medals.

Of all competitors in track cycling, only her husband Jason Kenny and fellow Briton Chris Hoy have won more gold medals, with both having six to their name.

Among all female British Olympians, nobody has won more medals than Kenny, who also landed a team pursuit silver on Tuesday. The madison success meant she matched British equestrian star Charlotte Dujardin's haul of six medals (three gold, one silver, two bronze).

 

Kenny, 29, became a mother to son Albert in August 2017 and suspected at the time she had crossed the finish line in her cycling career.

She said after Friday's triumph: "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."

Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen prevailed in the men's sprint, becoming the first Olympian from the Netherlands to win two gold medals in track cycling, having landed a first in the team sprint earlier this week.

The latest triumph saw Lavreysen become the first Dutch winner of the sprint since Jacobus van Egmond in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

He led a Dutch one-two, with silver going to Jeffrey Hoogland, while Britain's Jack Carlin took bronze.

Hoogland won the first heat of the final but Lavreysen came back to level in the next before taking gold, with both riders exhausted by the gruelling decisive third sprint.

Lavreysen said: "I was really thinking confident before the races like I was going to win this. I lost the first one, but I also made a mistake. So I thought, 'Okay, just refresh and go for the second one, I can still win this'. I got my head really clear and just focused on winning the race.

"It's such an amazing feeling. When I was on the track I really wanted to cheer and put my hands in the air, but I couldn't do it, I was in so much pain."

Carlin was satisfied with his third-placed finish, saying: "The Dutch team for the last five years have been dominant and both of those boys have unbelievable talent. It was always going to be hard against them."

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