Rio 2016: Jason Kenny wins fifth Olympic gold medal on the track - Road Cycling UK

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Rio 2016: Jason Kenny wins fifth Olympic gold medal on the track

Kenny beats Callum Skinner in men's sprint; Cavendish sits third in omnium; Becky James and Katy Marchant progress in women's sprint

Jason Kenny became just the fourth Brit to win five Olympic gold medals, after Sirs Steve Redgrave, Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, by beating fellow Brit Callum Skinner in the men’s sprint final at Rio 2016.

Great Britain started the fourth day of track cycling knowing they were already guaranteed the one gold medal on offer – the only question was whether it would be Kenny or Skinner who won it.

And it was the Englishman, defending the title he won in London four years ago to enter the pantheon of British Olympic greats.

It was the highlight of another good day on the track, which also saw Mark Cavendish make a good start to the omnium and Becky James and Katy Marchant progress in the women’s sprint.

Jason Kenny has now won five Olympic gold medals after victory in the men’s sprint at Rio 2016 (pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Kenny was simply too good for Skinner in the first of their sprinting heats – the Scot led the sprint out but Kenny timed his kick to perfection and surged past his room-mate with plenty to spare.

That was Skinner’s first defeat of the whole competition, having qualified unbeaten for the gold medal match, but a second followed immediately – Kenny leading from the front to claim gold.

Denis Dmitriev (Russia) took bronze, also requiring just two heats to beat Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer with two convincing sprints.

As the men had in their qualification, the two British riders in the women’s sprint qualified fastest in the flying lap – James setting a new Olympic record in the process.

The Welsh rider, already a keirin silver medallist at these Games, stopped the clock in 10.721 seconds to qualify fastest, while Marchant posted the second best time of 10.787.

James was then far too fast for Azerbaijan’s Olga Ismayilova to reach the 1/8 final – beating her from the front – before Marchant joined her in the next round, coming from the back to beat Monique Sullivan (Canada).

Mark Cavendish’s first taste of the Rio 2016 track started with a solid sixth place in the omnium.

Roger Kluge (Germany) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) gained a lap on the field, while Cavendish sprinted to sixth behind Fernando Gaviria (Colombia) – Thomas Boudat (France) and Glenn O’Shea (Australia) having finished in front of the bunch.

The individual pursuit followed, traditionally one of Cavendish’s weaker events, but he showed his early departure from the Tour de France to work on his pursuit skills – he was also first reserve for the men’s team pursuit quartet – had paid dividends.

The Manxman set an average speed of 56.057km/h on his way to posting a time of 4.16.878 to move provisionally first in the discipline but had to settle for second place in the end as Hansen continued his fine start.

The Dane broke Sir Bradley Wiggins’ Olympic record – set on his way to individual pursuit gold in Beijing in 2008 – to win the event in a time of 4.14.982.

Hansen consequently led the way after two events, with Cavendish third, before the elimination race – the final event of the first day.

When the Dane was knocked out first it gave Cavendish a big chance to move into the overall lead, and the Manxman looked comfortable as the race reached the sharp end.

A mistake proved costly, however, as he was disqualified for riding off the track with just seven riders left in the race.

Mark Cavendish finished second in the individual pursuit after a great ride, leaving him third overall at the halfway stage of the men’s omnium (pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

It left Italy’s Elia Viviani to win ahead of Boudat, meaning Cavendish lies third overall at the halfway stage – eight points behind the Italian and another two behind the Frenchman, and six points clear of fourth-placed Kluge.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games: men’s sprint – result

1) Jason Kenny (GBR)
2) Callum Skinner (GBR)
3) Denis Dmitriev (RUS)
4) Matthew Glaetzer (AUS)

Rio 2016 Olympic Games: track cycling – medal count

1) Great Britain – four gold, two silver
2) China – one gold
=) Netherlands – one gold
4) Australia, Russia – one silver, one bronze
6) USA, New Zealand – one silver
8) Denmark, Canada, France, Germany – one bronze

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