Tokyo Olympics: Great Danes land madison title as Morkov's moment finally arrives

By Sports Desk August 07, 2021

Michael Morkov and Lasse Norman Hansen added Olympic gold to their World Championship title as Denmark were crowned kings of the Tokyo 2020 men's madison.

Great Britain took silver and France the bronze in the Izu Velodrome, but Denmark again proved they are masters of the event, with their riders adding to the silver they captured in team pursuit.

Having served as Deceuninck-QuickStep’s lead-out man in the Tour de France, helping Mark Cavendish secure the four stage wins that took him level with the great Eddy Merckx, this was another standout moment for Morkov, and it was his day to scoop big-stage glory.

He and Hansen landed the madison world title in March of last year, before lockdown hit much of Europe, and now they have gold at the Olympics to their name.

The British duo of Ethan Hayter and omnium gold medallist Matt Walls finished strongly to snatch second place by landing the double-points final sprint.

France, who had led the gold medal chase with six sprints remaining, were reeled in and forced to settle for third.

Morkov said: "I know we won the race but it's hard to believe now. We were the main favourite. Lasse and I won all the medals we ever did together internationally. We know we had a good shot at this but it came very close.

"Actually I knew it 10 laps out because we were leading with 11 points. We had the French with us and the British were off the road, they could maximum take 10 points. So it was kind of a sweet finish even though it was very, very hard because it was our chase, but still I wanted to look at the board in the end to get it confirmed.

"I had in mind all the time our Danish badminton player Viktor Axelsen, who won an amazing gold medal a week ago, and he was a big inspiration for me today."

The madison had been off the Olympic programme since 2008 until its return this year, with Morkov finishing sixth in the event in Beijing 13 years ago alongside Alex Rasmussen, when the Danes had higher ambitions.

Morkov described the move to scratch the madison from the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as "a big bummer", given his prowess in the event.

"But in 2017 when I heard it was back on the programme, I was in no doubt that this would be my shot at an Olympic medal," the 36-year-old said.

Hansen, 29, savoured the moment, saying of Morkov: "Man, he's been one of my idols since I started riding on the tracks, so it means a lot to stand here beside him."

Related items

  • JCF clears air after non-accredited cyclist, coach attend PanAm Junior Track Champs in Peru JCF clears air after non-accredited cyclist, coach attend PanAm Junior Track Champs in Peru

    Jamaica Cycling Federation (JCF) has distanced itself from the actions of coach Arlington Reid and cyclist Xazivor Anthony Gayle, who it says breached protocols and attended the PanAm Junior Track Championships without proper authorisation.

    The Dr. Wayne Palmer-led JCF in clearing the air, revealed that they were notified by the PanAm Championship organisers on Thursday, that Gayle and Reid arrived in Lima, Peru to participate in the event, but were not accredited.

    Despite receiving a request from Reid, the JCF explained that it did not authorise the accreditation of a Jamaican delegation to participate, as Gayle did not meet the qualification standard.

    “On June 7, 2024, Mr. Reid made a request via email to the Board for Gayle to be considered for selection to participate in the championships based on his recent performance at the DPS event in Trinidad, despite not meeting the qualifying time standards," the JCF clarified in a release.

    “In response to this request, Mr. Reid was advised by email on June 9, 2024, that Gayle was not selected. On the same day, an email appealing the non-selection was sent to the board by Mr. Reid,” it added.

    The JCF pointed out that protocol of the sport’s world governing body, UCI, dictates that the national federation is the only authorising body that can accredit an individual, team, coach, or other support staff to a championship.

    As such, it said Reid’s action is a clear disregard for rules, which has now brought the local governing body into disrepute, as the PanAm organisers did not take the turn of events kindly, and have since escalated the matter to UCI.

    “The Jamaica Cycling Federation is disappointed in the actions and judgement of Mr. Reid, who went ahead and registered an athlete to participate in an event without proper authorization. His actions have caused embarrassment to the federation and have placed the federation in disrepute,” the statement noted.

     

  • On this day 2013: Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy announces retirement On this day 2013: Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy announces retirement

    Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy announced his retirement from competitive cycling 11 years ago, admitting: “I know it is the right decision.”

    The 37-year-old Scot had been contemplating continuing until the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but revealed he was quitting the sport at a press conference in Edinburgh on April 18, 2013.

    Hoy was Britain’s most decorated Olympian after his haul of two gold medals at London 2012 saw him surpass rower Sir Steve Redgrave’s record of five, although he was overtaken by former team-mate Sir Jason Kenny in 2021.

    In explaining his decision, Hoy said: “I think in sport at the highest level you’re dealing in such small margins and you can tell when you’re good but not good enough.

    “It was very emotional coming in there (to the press conference) and I was trying not to watch the video montage with the sad music.

    “I don’t want it to be a sad moment.

    “I want to celebrate it and be happy because I know it is the right decision.

    “It’s a decision that I didn’t take lightly and I thought about it very hard.”

    As well as six Olympic titles, Hoy’s 13-year career featured 11 world titles and two Commonwealth crowns.

    Hoy’s final race was the Olympic Keirin final on August 7, 2012 – on the final day of the London 2012 track programme.

    Following retirement, Hoy pursued his passion for motorsport, including competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours, while he has also written children’s books.

    In February 2024, the 48-year-old announced he was undergoing treatment for cancer.

  • Paul extends rich form with double gold; Browne, Campbell also among T&T's medals at PanAm Track Cycling Champs Paul extends rich form with double gold; Browne, Campbell also among T&T's medals at PanAm Track Cycling Champs

    Trinidad and Tobago’s ace cyclist Nicholas Paul continued his rich early season form as he wrapped up another double gold medal-winning outing at the just-concluded Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Los Angeles, California.

    Paul’s medals were won in his customary events, the men's Keirin and Sprint, and followed his fairly successful outing at the UCI Championships in Hong Kong where he recovered from a two-cycle collision in the Keirin to win the Sprint.

    The 23-year-old again expressed gratitude for the continued support as he represents the twin island republic with much gusto.

    “It is always an honour to represent my country and the Pan American region. Thank you to everyone for all the love and continued support. The Journey continues and the next stop will be the Nations Cup in Milton, Canada. So, I just want to continue putting in the hard work and let it show in my performances,” Paul said.

    In the Keirin, Paul topped Colombia’s Kevin Quintero, while another Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Kwesi Browne copped bronze.

    However, it took a photo-finish to separate Paul and another Colombian Cristian Ortega for the Sprint crown. Paul bettered his South American rival in the first ride before edging ahead in the second ride on the line by millimeters to retain his title.

    Meanwhile, Akil Campbell was also among the medals, as he won a bronze medal in the men's scratch race.

    In other results at the meet, Alexi Ramirez finished eighth in the women's elimination race and in the women's scratch race, while Makaira Wallace and Phoebe Sandy placed 13th and 17th in the women's sprint qualification, respectively.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.