Fifth Olympic Gold medal for Jason Kenny
GB man wins sprint final over compatriot Skinner
Having beaten compatriot Callum Skinner in the men's team sprint final, Jason Kenny is now a five-time Olympic Games gold medallist and Great Britain's third most successful Olympian. The 28-year-old joins fellow cyclists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy, and rower Sir Steve Redgrave to have won five gold medals and will look to claim a sixth in Monday's Keirin.
"At the end of the day, I came here and qualified first and won the gold medal, which is just a dream result. It's really special; it hasn't really sunk in yet, to be honest. We still have the Keirin to go, so I probably won't let it sink in yet. For this Olympics we really focussed on peak speed, which has paid dividends, particularly in the Team Sprint and the Sprint qualifying," said Kenny who becomes the first rider since Jens Fiedler in 1992 and 1996 to win consecutive sprint golds.
Kenny and Skinner were joined by Phillip Hindes on day 1 as the trio won Great Britain's third consecutive team sprint gold medal, and Kenny won his fourth gold and fifth Olympic medal. Hindes didn't qualify for the individual sprint as Kenny set the fastest qualifier in the individual sprint with an Olympic record time of 9.551 with Skinner in second at just .152.
Kenny then knocked out Maximilian Levy (Germany), Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata (Colombia) and Patrick Constable (Australia) in straight sets before needing a decider to get the better of Denis Dmitriev (Russia) in the semi-final and set up a gold medal final with Skinner.
In 2008, Kenny faced off against compatriot Chris Hoy in the gold medal sprint final and finished with what remains his sole silver medal yet. Four years later in London, and Kenny was celebrating his first individual gold medal after defeating France's Grégory Baugé. Whether it was the experience of two finals or just his relaxed character, Kenny went into the gold medal ride seeing it as "just as another race".
After winning gold, Kenny was asked by the press if his pre-race routine was any different considering he was facing a 'teammate' rather than a 'rival'.
"No, we just did the same thing we always do," he responded when asked if he and Skinner had avoided each other in the lead up. "We got up, we had breakfast, we had lunch and we came here.
"We just talked about normal stuff," he added of whether they discussed the race. "The heptathlon, Greg Rutherford, Andy Murray ... the same thing everyone was talking about, probably.
"It did take me back to Beijing a bit. I enjoyed it but in reality I was hurting a lot this morning and I know Callum is in good condition so it was just a case of coming here and focusing on the process."
At 28, a fourth Olympic Games could well be on the cards for Kenny, but first he will look to add a sixth gold to his palmares in Rio.
"I will give it a go in the keirin. I have a day off now to focus. I will recover properly and hopefully come out fighting for the keirin and get a medal," he said.
"People keep on saying to me that I have won five medals, but I feel exactly the same as I did a few days ago when I had three."
As the only non-knighted member of Great Britain's six most successful Olympians, Kenny might not feel any different later in the year but could well be calling himself something different.
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