Olympic Games: Kenny celebrates sixth career gold medal in tense keirin final
How Briton avoided disqualification after derny problems
Having seen fiancé Laura Trott defend her omnium title on the Rio Velodrome, Jason Kenny added a third gold medal to his 2016 Olympic Games tally and sixth career gold medal to equal Chris Hoy as Great Britain, who also won six gold medals.
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"I turned up in a funny mood, I was happy, I don't know what was wrong today. It felt like a dream. I was so tired I was floating through it. It was brilliant," Kenny told the BBC having added the Keirin gold to his sprint and team sprint victories.
"It is pretty mental (matching Sir Chris Hoy). I was there in Beijing and knew it was special and as the years have gone by I appreciated how amazing he was then and to do same it is amazing."
It was a less then straight forward final and path to victory for Kenny in the kerin, with riders twice passing the derny before it pulled off the track sparking judges to restart the race. On both occasions, the fault was attributed to the pacer with no riders disqualified.
On the third attempt, Kenny proved too fast for Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) and Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) for his first medal in the keirin at Olympic level. Having ridden several laps of the velodrome in celebration of his victory, Kenny embraced Trott almost in disbelief of the five gold medals they will take home together.
Their celebrations perhaps began a little early, with British Cycling head coach Iain Dyer explaining to the BBC that there was an element of luck in Kenny's gold medal success.
"How close was Jason Kenny to not contesting that final? I'd say very close given they had already fired the gun to stop the race," said Dyer. "Ordinarily, procedure would dictate you have stopped the race and you make a disqualification if the rider's front wheel has been adjudged to have overtaken the wheel of the derny."
"You want the photo-finish view but they don't have that here. That's a major error on their part, but all of our performance analysts had a bird's eye view of it so we could see both Awang and Jason hadn't crossed the line. And exactly the same proved to be the case with Joachim Eilers in the next rerun. He hadn't crossed the line either. It's just playing fair really."
Hoy, who shared team sprint gold medal success with Kenny in 2008 and 2012, expressed his delight in seeing the 28-year-old match his Olympic record who is likely to surpass the record in four year's time in Tokyo.
"That was a test of character. You can do all the reps in the gym but it is character and it is just fantastic to see the smile on his face. It is a really special moment," said Hoy of the final. "When he came on the team before Beijing we knew he was special but I don't think we realised how special he was going to be."
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