Rio 2016: Jason Kenny and Laura Trott claim historic golds

Kenny wins record-equalling sixth gold in final night in keirin; Trott wins omnium for fourth Olympic gold; Becky James and Katy Marchant medal in sprint

Laura Trott and Jason Kenny ensured a golden end to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games track cycling for Great Britain, as both made British sporting history in the velodrome.

Trott became the first woman to win four Olympic gold medals, storming to omnium gold, and Kenny won the keirin – after two false starts – to join Sir Chris Hoy as Great Britain’s most successful Olympian with six career golds and one silver.

Becky James and Katy Marchant took silver and bronze in the women’s sprint, respectively, meanwhile – Marchant’s bronze ensuring every British rider to have raced in Rio has won a medal.

Laura Trott and Jason Kenny won historic golds on the final night of track cycling at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (pic: Sirotti)

Trott stormed to a comprehensive victory in the women’s omnium to seal her second gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the fourth of her career.

The 24-year-old held a big lead overnight, and continued her fine form on the second day of the event, finishing second in the 500m time trial and winning the flying lap, to build her advantage ahead of the points race.

And Trott ensured she repeated her double success from London 2012 with another fine performance in the final event – riding an attacking race and ultimately finishing 24 points clear of America’s Sarah Hammer and another seven ahead of Jolien d’Hoore (Belgium).

Kenny, meanwhile, put in two impressive rides to reach the keirin final, though it was to prove a nerve-wracking final race on the Rio track.

The Bolton-born sprinter could have been disqualified after a false start, before world champion Joachim Eilers (Germany) nearly suffered the same fate at the second time of trying.

But all six riders were still in the race when, at the third time of asking, it finally got underway – and Kenny put in a superb sprint around the final bend to claim his historic gold.

James and Marchant’s medals, meanwhile, means Britain end the Games with 12 cycling medals – six gold, four silver and two bronze.

James and Marchant started the penultimate track cycling session of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by picking up where they left off the previous day.

James outsprinted world champion Zhong Tianshi in her first heat – sprinting from the back and resisting a late charge from the Chinese rider to take a one-nil lead.

And the Welsh rider won the second heat from the front, ensuring she would be returning to ride for a medal of some denomination in the evening.

Marchant eased into the semi-finals to join her compatriot in the last four, comfortably beating Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite.

The former heptathlete caught her opponent napping in the first heat to win a long one, and was unperturbed when – leading the second sprint out – Krupeckaite harried her from behind, taking victory by a big margin in the end.

In the other quarter-finals, Germany’s Kristina Vogel also progressed in straight heats against Lee Wai Sze and keirin champion Ellis Ligtlee (Netherlands) did likewise to beat Anastasiia Voinova.

Becky James and Katy Marchant won silver and bronze in the women’s sprint. The latter’s third place ensured every Brit to have raced at Rio returned with a medal (pic: Sirotti)

In the semi-finals, in the evening session, James faced Ligtlee and won the first heat with an early sprint from the front; Marchant lost out to Vogel in the other semi-final first heat.

In the second heats, James came from behind and comprehensively beat her Dutch opponent to book a place in the final but Vogel proved too strong for Marchant to also complete a two-nil win.

Marchant recovered by the time of the bronze medal race, however, and kept plenty in reserve around the final bend to win the first heat well.

James and Vogel’s first heat was much closer, meanwhile, with the German drawing level on the back straight before snatching the sprint on the line.

Marchant sealed bronze in straight heats – her victory ensuring every rider who raced for Great Britain in the Rio Velodrome will be returning from the Games with a medal.

Vogel and James’ second heat was delayed as Vogel corrected a problem with her bike, but it was another close heat when it did get underway.

James looked like she was going to edge it, but Vogel won with a powerful lunge to the line – so powerful her saddle shot off, countering any suggestion the pre-race delay had been gamesmanship.

It meant another silver medal for James – an incredible return at the end of a difficult few years – and bronze for Marchant.

Laura Trott won her fourth Olympic gold medal in the omnium – more than any other female British Olympian (pic: Alex Whitehead/

Laura Trott’s fine start to the omnium continued in the 500m time trial, the Brit extending her overall lead again.

Sarah Hammer, third overnight, threw down the gauntlet with a time of 35.366 but Trott responded well to post a time of 35.253 – enough for second place behind Anette Edmondson, the only rider to drop below the 35-second mark.

Belgium’s Jolien d’Hoore, riding opposite Trott, stopped the clock in 35.326 as the Brit stretched her lead over the Belgian to 12 points, with Hammer another four points back.

Trott then recorded a personal best in the flying lap to beat Edmondson to first place and build a commanding lead of the decisive points race.

Any thoughts of riding a defensive race were clearly far from her mind there too, as she attacked at the first intermediate sprint to pick up her first points and force a response from her rivals.

Hammer won the second sprint, with the race splintering regularly and small groups forming on the track on several occasions.

Trott, Hammer and D’Hoore gained a lap at the halfway stage – Edmondson the biggest loser after missing the move – and the Brit continued to add to her points tally.

With gold all-but-assured, she was able to bed in and react to the battle for the silver medal heating up between Hammer and D’Hoore – following the two as they attacked again in a strong-looking move.

The five were off the front for the entirety of the last ten laps, meaning much safer riding for Trott, who only had to stay upright.

With D’Hoore paying for her earlier efforts, Hammer won the final sprint to the line to secure silver but it was Trott, who finished fourth in the final sprint, celebrating a comprehensive gold medal success.

Trott rode an attacking points race to not just defend her overall lead but actually increase it (pic: Sirotti)

Kenny and Callum Skinner were both in action in the men’s keirin, but they had contrasting fortunes in their first round races.

New Zealand’s Sam Webster won Skinner’s heat – the Scot was too far back when the derny swung off and had too much to do, easing up on the final straight as he resigned himself to the repechages.

Kenny had no such issues though, hitting the front as the derny swung off and opening up a small gap on the back straight which could not be closed.

Skinner changed tactics for the repechage, taking control on the front before allowing Matthew Baranoski to pass so he could take his wheel.

He came around the American on the back straight and won the sprint, but faced a commissaires’ decision after dropping down too early and impeding Baranoski as he passed him.

Jason Kenny moved level with Sir Chris Hoy on six Olympic gold medals (pic: Sirotti)

And the ruling went against the Scot as he was relegated to last place, leaving just Kenny to fly the British flag in the semi-finals.

He flew the flag in style too, moving to the front as the derny swung off and pulling away on the back straight to comprehensively book a spot in the medal race.

Again all eyes turned to the commissaires in the final though, after Kenny and Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) went a fraction too early as the derny bike swung off.

The gun fired, meaning the race had to be restarted, with replays showing the two had overlapped the derny bike’s back wheel as it was swinging off, but before the half-lap line.

After a long delay, the decision was taken to restart the race with all six riders still in, however.

But there was another false start at the next time of trying – again a matter of fractions in it on the replay, with Joachim Eilers (Germany) the man under scrutiny this time.

Again all six remained in the race, however, and the race started for a third time – Kenny sitting third wheel as he had done on the previous two occasions.

And his tactics worked despite Eilers coming over the top to force the pace – Kenny had plenty to do on the final lap but put in a huge surge over the top.

He moved ahead on the final straight and kicked hard to the line and into the British Olympics record books.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games: women’s omnium – result

1) Laura Trott – Great Britain – 230
2) Sarah Hammer – USA – 206
3) Jolien d’Hoore – Belgium – 199

Rio 2016 Olympic Games: women’s sprint – result

1) Kristina Vogel – Germany
2) Becky James – Great Britain
3) Katy Marchant – Great Britain

Rio 2016 Olympic Games: men’s keirin – result

1) Jason Kenny – Great Britain
2) Matthijs Buchli – Netherlands
3) Azizulhasni Awang – Malaysia

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