Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny – SWPIX.COM
Laura Kenny is in line for a damehood after securing her place in the record books as Britain’s most successful woman Olympian. Senior sporting figures believe top honors now beckon for Kenny and her husband after becoming the first British female to win gold at three Games.
Her fifth gold and sixth medal in total complete an excellent week for the power couple. Her husband is the most successful British athlete of all, having taken the eighth medal on Tuesday to add to six previous six golds. However, amid the celebrations, Laura had tears as she talked of her desperation to get back to see their three-year-old son, Albie. “I have never missed him so much in all my life,” she said. “It’s so hard leaving him at home.”
On Friday, gold in the madison added to the four golds won across London 2012 and Rio 2016 and the silver she won alongside the women’s pursuit team earlier this week. Kenny now joins Charlotte Dujardin with a record six Olympic medals – but five golds, compared with the equestrian star’s three – means she is officially the most successful.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge led tributes on Friday night. “Incredible achievement, the royal couple added in a statement which cited her record as the “first British woman to win golds at three consecutive Olympic Games”. The Kennys and Dujardin were all made CBEs for their medal hauls in Rio in 2016, and two figures close to the sporting honors committee process say the trio now “fit the bill” for further recognition.
However, at 29 and with the potential to compete in at least one more Games, sources close to discussions said there was a possibility that officials would wait until Kenny’s was nearing retirement before making her a dame.
Kenny and Katie Archibald produced one of the all-time great track cycling performances to claim the inaugural Olympic women’s madison title. They then admitted it would not have been possible without the help of some teenage boys in Manchester.
On a historic day at the Izu velodrome, which saw Kenny win her fifth Olympic gold medal in total and her first as a mother, the revelation to the BBC that she and Archibald had practiced repeatedly against British Cycling’s men’s U23 and junior academy teams in the build-up to these Games was one of the most fascinating nuggets.
Kenny blurted it out as part of an emotional interview in the immediate aftermath of the race, saying she and Archibald owed a debt of gratitude to the “lads” in Manchester. “We’ve done this about five times with them, and we ran it just like that,” she said. “I’ve never been so confident about a plan. I want to thank those lads because we wouldn’t have had a race otherwise.”
An hour or so later, after their podium ceremony was over and they were basking in the afterglow of one of the most dominant track performances of all time, they were happy to divulge a few more details of their madison masterplan. “I feel like I’m giving all our secrets away now,” Kenny said, grinning. “But yes, we’ve been training with the U23 and junior lads, doing madison after madison. We had a set plan that we rode to. And it worked.”
Boy did it ever. The madison is one of track cycling’s most chaotic but well-loved disciplines. It sees teams of two riders handling each other around the track, sprinting for points every 10 laps with bonus points on offer for any couple who can gain a lap on the field.
With riders strewn about all over the place, half of them racing at any one time and the other half taking a breather, it can be challenging to follow what is going on. Kenny and Archibald made sense of the chaos spectacularly. Wearing special yellow high-vis helmets, so they were easy for each other to pick out – the sort of idea which is so ingenious and yet so simple you wonder why no one has done it before – they took the first three sprints of the day, pipping their rivals, the two-time world champions Kirsten Wild and Amy Pieters of the Netherlands, in all three.
The big turning point came on lap 71 when Wild was taken out by an Australian rider, hitting the deck hard. GB went on to win that sprint, and the Dutch challenge faltered after that. “GB usually starts fast, and we usually get better in the second half,” Wild said later. “After the crash, I didn’t recover. It’s s—.”
In total, Kenny and Archibald won 10 out of 12 sprints and were one of only three teams to lap the field. They finished with an astonishing 78 points, more than double the second-placed Denmark tally, which took 35. Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy called it “one of the most dominant displays I’ve ever seen at world level”.
The victory created several milestones for Kenny, the first British woman to win gold at three consecutive Games. Once again, it moved her level with Charlotte Dujardin as Britain’s most decorated Olympian on six medals in total (although she has five golds to Dujardin’s three).
The 29-year-old also became the most successful female cyclist in Olympic history. This is a team event, though. There is always a danger where Kenny is involved that her partner (or partners) get airbrushed from the account. With two Olympic gold medals and one silver to her name now, Archibald is also one of Team GB’s greats and deserves to be recognized as such.
Kenny paid tribute to the Scot afterward, describing her as “like a sister to me”. “I’m so grateful to have her here and her support; I couldn’t have done it without her.” Nor without the “lads” in Manchester, apparently. Ironically, it may have been the shock departure last November of Paul Manning, the endurance women’s long-term coach, which opened the door to this race-winning innovation.
With Covid-19 putting paid to virtually all international track meetings and teams locked down in their respective countries, new coach Monica Greenwood came up with the plan, together with husband Ben Greenwood, the U23s coach, to use his boys as cannon fodder.
“I think having Monica married to Ben has played a huge part,” Kenny admitted. “We just wouldn’t have been able to do this without the [practice] racing. I think that lack of racing showed today how nervous people were. I’ve never been involved in a Madison where it just seemed like there were people and bodies everywhere. So I really think that [match practice] was a huge part of it.”
Kenny added that she was not nervous about unveiling trade secrets as British Cycling was one of very few national governing bodies with an U23s program capable of doing it. Asked what it felt like to become the first British woman to win gold medals at three consecutive Games, Kenny was dismissive of her accruing records. “I feel like we’re just making these records up as we go along now,” she laughed.
The interest is inevitable, though. If Kenny wins her third and final discipline of the week, the omnium, she will be out on her own once again as Britain’s most decorated female Olympian in terms of total medals won. Kenny said she was feeling increasingly confident, citing how she shut down an attack by France midway through the race as proof that her legs were good.
“I mean, if the French hadn’t attacked and I hadn’t ridden across to them, I would have said, ‘I don’t know what my form is like,” she admitted. “But there was a moment when I was like ‘I cannot let that go.’ I felt like a switch went off in my head. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can do this.’ “So yeah, I feel a lot more confident now than after [Tuesday’s] team pursuit.”
Carlin’s confidence in completing the whole set growing before keirin
By Tom Cary, Senior Sports Correspondent, in Izu
Jack Carlin only got into cycling by accident. As a youngster tearing about on the playing fields of Paisley, he broke both his ankles and found he could no longer run correctly. Cycling was initially prescribed for rehab. Carlin discovered he was rather good at it.
On Friday, the 24-year-old Scot claimed his second Olympic medal of the week, a bronze in the individual sprint to go with the silver he won alongside Jason Kenny and Ryan Owens in the team sprint on Tuesday.
It is quite a haul for an athlete so young he cites Sir Chris Hoy’s performance at the London 2012 Olympics as his inspiration. And he is not done yet. “There’s only one color missing now, so I need to up my game and see what can happen,” Carlin said of the men’s keirin which begins on Saturday and concludes on Sunday, the final day of these Games tomorrow.
Why not? It feels now as if anything is possible for Britain’s track cyclists again. Matt Walls got the ball rolling on Thursday with his brilliant gold medal in the omnium. Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald continued the momentum with one of the most dominant Madison performances ever seen in a velodrome. Now everyone believes they can get in on the act.
“The confidence is there, the legs are there, we just have to wait and see,” Carlin said. “I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight, reset the brain for tomorrow.” Gold medalist, Harrie Lavreysen of Team Netherlands, center, participates in a medal ceremony with teammate and silver medalist Jeffrey Hoogland and bronze medalist Jack Carlin – AP Photo/Christophe Ena.
There is no reason to believe he cannot do it. When Kenny tipped Carlin earlier this week as Britain’s “most likely” individual sprint medallist this week, some probably thought the six-time champion was being modest. Others might have wondered who on earth Carlin was.
But the youngster, who took world silver in the sprint at Apeldoorn in 2018, has more than lived up to the billing. Carlin beat veteran Denis Dmitriev (ROC) 2-0 in their bronze medal final. And the only man to whom he lost, Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands, went on to win gold.
The Dutch will be the men to beat once again this weekend. They have taken both sprint titles so far this week, locking out the final with Lavreysen beating his compatriot Jeffrey Hoogland in a tense deciding sprint. But Carlin insisted they were beatable, adding that he was disappointed with the ‘passive’ way he rode against Lavreysen in his semi-final.
“I think I’m still learning every race, and I would say that if I’d gone into the semi with the same aggressiveness and confidence I did in every single other race, I might have won,” he said. “I came off after that, and I was angry with myself.
“I just let my guard down a little bit, and I suffered for it and lost the two semi-final rounds too, to be fair an unbelievable rider. Because you have to be on your A-game against the two Dutch lads because they’re the best in the world, without a shadow of a doubt.
“But I switched it back on [for the bronze medal final]. I got a real slap across the back of the head and was told, ‘get your head in it’. I came out fighting, and the main thing to take away is that if you have the belief, you can go anywhere with it.”
Katy Marchant still believes, too. The Rio bronze medallist is still alive in the women’s sprint, having been taken out spectacularly in the keirin quarter-finals on Thursday.
Marchant, 30, broke her own British record in qualifying, setting the eighth fastest time in the field. She then beat local rider, Yuka Kobayashi in the round of 32. Marchant must negotiate two different games on Saturday to qualify for Sunday’s medal rides.
Carlin will hope to see her there. It would be some story if the Paisley rider, who only took up the sport because he got injured and whose mum had to encourage him to go to his local club, Glasgow Riders, as a means of rehabbing, could complete the whole set in his debut Games. He sounded as if he was starting to believe.
“I’d have said, coming into this, the main event I wasn’t confident it was the sprint,” he pointed out. “I was more confident in the team sprint and keirin, just based on past results and how I’ve fared in the sprint in the last couple of years. The confidence is building.”
Day five of track cycling, as it happened. .10:10:24 over to the British Cycling socials for the last word . . 09:09:58 amHarrie Lavreysen wins men’s sprint gold! After taking it down to the final race of three, world champion Harrie Lavreysen clinches the title while sealing a Dutch one-two ahead of Jeffrey Hoogland, who may end up rueing his early charge in the second race of this final. Team GB rider Jack Carlin won bronze.
Harrie Lavreysen 1 Jeffrey Hoogland 1
The world champion fights back to keep his dream of gold alive; Jeffrey Hoogland was just meters away from the line where he would have been crowned Olympic champion if he had crossed first. He was, however, reeled back in and overhauled by Dutch compatriot Harrie Lavreysen to take this down to a third and final race for gold. What a great competition this has been – and it’s not over yet09:09:38 amTeam GB rider Carlin wins men’s sprint bronze!
Am an excellent performance and result from the 24-year-old Scot who beat veteran Denis Dmitriev before letting out a mighty, celebratory roar. Not a nasty session of track racing for the riders from Team GB.
Apologies for the lack of updates in the women’s sprint 1/16 finals. The final heat between Katy Marchant and Lee Wai-Sze of Hong Kong has just occurred, with the Team GB rider progressing to tomorrow’s 1/8 finals. Jack Carlin will go up against Denis Dmitriev with a men’s sprint bronze medal up for grabs in a minute or so. If the Briton wins, he takes home the gong, loses it, and there will be a deciding race in 20 minutes or so09:09:14 Kenny: ‘I’ve never wanted to win a race so much in all my life.’
In a post-race interview, an emotional Laura Kenny has thanked her coach Monica before revealing they enacted the race five times against the men’s Under-23. A plan that was perfectly executed. “I looked up, and we had 60 laps to go, and I thought I’ve not even touched the pedals,” Kenny said. “We rode so conservatively, we’ve been doing so much work – our coach’s husband is the under-23 lads’ coach, and we’ve done this about five times with them, and we just ran it like that. I’ve never been so confident about a plan – I want to thank those lads because we wouldn’t have had a race. We just raced it again the same as we have before.
Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny – REUTERS
“Unbelievable – I’ve never wanted to win a race so much in all my life, and I messaged [husband] Jason and said I feel like my Olympics ends today, I love the team pursuit, but I felt relief when it was over because this was the one race I wanted to win – I just feel so relieved.”
When asked about her son at home, Kenny almost broke into tears, saying: “All week I’ve been saying please don’t ask me about Albie [her son], I’ve never missed him so much, but I couldn’t do it without these girls. With Katie, I feel like I’m racing with a sister – I’m so grateful to have her here and her support; I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Harrie Lavreysen 0 Jeffrey Hoogland 1
And there’s a minor upset in the first race in the men’s sprint final after world champion Harrie Lavreysen is beaten by his teammate09:09:03 amJack Carlin 1 Denis Dmitriev 0
And it is an advantage to Jack Carlin, who is 1-0 up in the best-of-three match09:09:01 more reaction from the madison soon . . .
. . but first, we have Jack Carlin going for another medal – bronze – in the men’s sprint, the Team GB rider up against Denis Dmitriev09:09:00 amir Chris Hoy reacts . . .
Speaking to the BBC, Sir Chris Hay hailed this incredible performance from Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny. “Even for an event as unpredictable as the Madison, it was the most wonderfully boring team Madison I’ve ever seen – the most assured confident race I’ve ever seen at this level – it was outstanding,” Hoy said.
“They went out and dominated from the word go to win the first sprint _ they won by three or four bike lengths every time _ they had speed, tactics, and complete control. All their rivals were fighting for silver or bronze early on. They took that race by the scruff of the neck.08:08:51 Archibald and Kenny win Olympic Madison gold!
What a performance that was for the Team GB riders who started aggressively and took it all the way winning pair won 10 out of 12 sprints. Laura Kenny won the fifth gold medal of her career – the first British woman to win gold at three consecutive Olympics. Kenny becomes the most successful female cyclist in Olympic history, moving clear of Dutchwoman Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorse, who took four gold medals between 1990 and 2003. Incredible08:08:50 amount down to Team GB gold | 10 laps to go
Team GB is marking the moves as the Netherlands scrap with France and Denmark over some small crumbs of comfort. Still, all Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny really need to do here is stay upright, and they will be winning the first women’s Madison Olympic title08:08:47 Archibald and Kenny are on course for gold.
Team GB, Denmark, and Russia have lapped the field, meaning Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny now lead the second-placed Danes by a whopping margin of 35points08:08:44 Archibald the smiling assassin | 30 laps to go
You have guessed it, Team GB has won another sprint, and Katie Archibald affords herself a smile. Team GB now leads by 26 points and is making this look easy, but they must stay out of harm’s way – another crash sees Belgium hit the deck08:08:39 Archibald pounces to extend Team GB’s lead.
Katie Archibald chases down a Dutchwoman to take the next sprint and another five points. Team GB is absolutely killing this race and closing down every move. Team GB has 32 points, while second-placed Netherlands trails with 16 and France are in third with 10 points08:08:36 team GB in total control.
Another sprint, another five points for Team GB who are staying out of trouble and riding really well here. Totally in control08:08:34 Belgium and Dutch caught up in the crash.
Japan and Hong Kong have been lapped, while Ireland has received a warning after it was ruled that they caused that crash with Italy. Another smash takes down a Belgian and Dutch rider (Kirsten Wild) just moments before Team GB wins another sprint, while world champions the Netherlands did not take a single point. Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny now lead by nine points just under the halfway mark08:08:30 Aussies win the fourth sprint with 80 laps to go . . .
. . . and the Netherlands take second, but Team GB are third to pick up two points as they lead Dutch by five points08:08:28 Archibald and Kenny enjoying a bright start
It is interesting to note that Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny are wearing brightly colored yellow helmets, making it easier for the Team GB riders to pick each other out in the melee on the track. They are flying right now and have just won the third of three sprints to extend their lead further still.
Elisa Balsamo of Italy has collided with a rider from the Ireland team, but her teammate Letizia Paternoster is plowing on. Back on the track and Team GB have extended their lead over the Netherlands after taking the second sprint after 20 laps08:08:22 am solid start from Team GB . . .
. . . who won the opening sprint to take an early lead in the Madison final, world champions the Netherlands were second while France was third and Italy fourth08:08:21 time for the Madison final . . .
Featuring 15 teams of two riders, the Madison race is a relay-style race contested over 30km, or 120 laps, for the women while the men, whose race is on Sunday morning, is 50km (200 laps).
It’s a little chaotic, especially while watching it on the television – it is easier following the action sat in the velodrome – the aim of the game is to gain more laps than your rivals with 20 points earned by those that accumulate on the field. Further particulars are reached at each sprint in the race – every 10 laps. Five, three, two, and one point are won, with double up for grabs in the final sprint of the endurance race.
Only one rider can be ‘racing’ at any time while their teammate rolls around the upper part of the velodrome. Switches between teammates are made via hand-slings or even pushes, but the former is a far more efficient way to operate in this fast and very technical race.
A little bit of housework from the women’s sprint 1/32 finals repechage heats which were won by Yuka Kobayashi (Japan), Bao Shanju (China), Kaarle McCulloch (Australia), and Madalyn Godby (United States). All three are all through to the next round.
Harrie Lavreysen 2 Jack Carlin 0
It will be a double Dutch final in the men’s sprint final, while Team GB rider Jack Carlin who tested the resolve of Harrie Lavreysen with a powerful race, will contest for the bronze medal later on against Denis Dmitriev (Russian Olympic Committee). The women’s sprint 1/32 finals repechage heats follow ahead of the medal race for the women’s madison. Team GB riders Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny will be flying the Union flag.
Jeffrey Hoogland 2 Denis Dmitriev 0
Though the Dutchman was made to work at the last by Denis Dmitriev, Jeffrey Hoogland is through to the final. Next up is Jack Carlin of Team GB against world champion Harrie Lavreysen07:07:55 amVoinova the first and only rider to upset the form book
Russian compatriots Daria Shmeleva and Anastasiia Voinova, who are definitely not racing for Russia, took to the boards for the 12th and final heat in the women’s 1/32 sprint finals. Still, it was the (marginally) slower qualifier that progressed to the next round.
Lee Wai-Sze (Hong Kong) beat Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania), Zhong Tianshi (China) was faster than Daniela Gaxiola (Mexico), and Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) won the battle of the Antipodeans at the expense of Kaarle McCulloch (Australia).
Next will be the second race in the men’s sprint semi-finals in which Dutchmen Jeffrey Hoogland and Harrie Lavreysen lead their matches against Denis Dmitriev (Russian Olympic Committee) and Team GB rider Jack Carlin07:07:40 amTeam GB rider Marchant marches on.
In her first real test since crashing in the keirin on Thursday, Katy Marchant passes with flying colors as the Briton beat Yuka Kobayashi of Japan to go through to the women’s sprint 1/16 finals.
In the three one-off races that preceded Marchant’s victory, Lauriane Genest (Canada) beat Madalyn Godby (United States), Olena Starikova (Ukraine) got the better of Yuli Verdugo (Mexico), and Shane Braspennincx (Netherlands) was too good for Bao Shanju (China). Again, these races are still all going to form07:07:30 women’s sprint 1/32 finals going to form . . .
Lea Friedrich, the fastest in qualifying, has beaten Migle Marozaite (Lithuania), the slowest of the 24 riders that progressed to the 1/32 finals, to keep her hopes of a second gold at these Games after she was part of the German squad that won the team sprint on Monday.
Kelsey Mitchell (Canada), Emma Hinze (Germany), and Mathilde Gros (France) have also gone through to the 1/16 finals at the expense of Liubov Basova (Ukraine), Charlene du Preez (South Africa), Lee Hye-Jin (South Korea) who will all get a second bite of the cherry in the repechages. Thus far, these races are going to form with the fastest qualifiers beating their slower adversaries.
Harrie Lavreysen 1 Jack Carlin 0
World champion Harrie Lavreysen got the better of the Scot in a closely fought race. No updates from the first heat, so it appears that Jeffrey Hoogland’s win has been confirmed.
Jeffrey Hoogland 1 Denis Dmitriev 0
Advantage Hoogland after the Dutchman allowed the Russian to lead him out, using Dmitriev’s slipstream to drag him towards the line, which looked easy. However, there was some concern over Hoogland, who may have gone out of his sprint lane, so this result may change once the race commissaries have viewed the replay07:07:10 amAnd now let’s move over to the men’s sprint.
Now into its third day of competition, the men’s sprint medals will be decided later in the morning, but not before the final four riders in the competition have contested their semi-finals. As you can see below, the opening match pitches Dutchman Jeffrey Hoogland, a three-time team sprint world champion and new Olympic team sprint gold medal winner, against Denis Dmitriev of the Russian Olympic Committee. He won the men’s sprint world title in 2017. Meanwhile, Harrie Lavreysen, the teammate and compatriot of Hoogland’s, will face Jack Carlin of Team GB in the other semi-final.
Carlin said on Thursday he was feeling confident and felt “pretty strong” ahead of his best-of-three match with the reigning world sprint, team sprint, and keirin champion. When asked about comments from Jason Kenny, who said Carlin was Team GB’s best chance of winning a medal in the men’s sprint, the 24-year-old Scot said the two-time Olympic champion in the event had been ‘kind’.
“Jason has been a mentor as well as a friend and those,e words are kind,” said Carlin, who won team sprint silver. “He’s been here before many a time – I think it’s his 15th Olympics now, so he knows what he’s talking about, and it’s adorable to hear thoshearrds from him.06:06:30 women’s sprint qualifiers – latest details.
Laurine van Riessen is a non-starter after leaving the track on a stretcher yesterday following her crash in the keirin. Van Riessen will not be replaced, leaving the newly crowned Olympic keirin champion Shanne Braspennincx as the lone Dutchwoman in action.
Before the match-ups can be sorted, each rider must complete a 200m flying lap to determine who they will face. Other than if a rider suffers a mechanical issue or somehow crashes, there’s not much to say about what’s going on. Oh, it is also swift – the world record for the flying lap is 10.154sec, set by Kelsey Mitchell of Canada in 2019, while Rebecca James holds the Olympic record (10.721sec), set at Rio in 2016. The all-important numbers will be updated over the next 40 minutes or so in the below table05:05:55 morning
Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from the fifth day of the Olympics track cycling at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka, Japan. Another day, another packed morning of racing on the 250-meter cycling track around 150 kilometers outside Tokyo, won two more gold medals.
Kicking off proceedings at a7.37.30 am (BST) is the women’s sprint qualifying, followed by the first two semi-finals races in the men’s sprint. Before the women’s Madison final takes place at a1010 am, we will know who has progressed to the men’s spring final and the line-up of the women’s sprint 1/16 finals, which will be concluded shortly afte111 amam – in theory at abou11.03 hammam.
For those of a Team GB persuasion, Katy Marchant, who crashed out of the keirin yesterday, leaving her “Just a bit battered and bruised”, will be back on the boards today in the women’s sprint, while Jack Carlin is the men’s sprint semi-finals and so may win a medal.
Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny line up alongside each other in the women’s Madison final, though they must beat some strong pairings if they are to take the gold. The Dutch world champions Amy Pieters and Kirsten Wild are in action, as are the runners-up from the 2020 Track Cycling World Championships Clara Copponi and Marie Le Net (France) and bronze medallists Elisa Balsamo and Letizia Paternoster (Italy).
The nations that also finished fourth and fifth – Belgium and Denmark – compete today with precisely the same pairings (Lotte Kopecky-Jolien D’Hoore and Amalie Dideriksen-Julie Leth). So the Britons will have to do a memorable ride if they are to win the first women’s Madison title at the Olympics.