Jason Kenny seals Tokyo sprint qualification as he launches bid for record ninth Olympic medal

Jason Kenny comfortably got the defence of his men’s cycling sprint title off to a positive start by sealing qualification for the next round.  

Kenny recorded the eighth best time at 9.510 seconds, narrowly beating the Olympic record of 9.551 he set in Rio five years ago where he took gold.

Jack Carlin also progressed through qualification for Team GB earlier in the event, having also broken Kenny’s Rio time by producing an impressive 9.306 to go third quickest. 

Jason Kenny comfortably secured qualification for the next round in the men's sprint

Jason Kenny comfortably secured qualification for the next round in the men's sprint

Jason Kenny comfortably secured qualification for the next round in the men’s sprint

Carlin’s record lasted mere minutes as Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen went faster with a 9.215 before his compatriot Jeffrey Hoogland bizarrely recorded the exact same time.

The sprint consists of two 100m laps around the Izu Velodrome with qualification for the next round seeing the best 24 riders from 30 progress. 

Kenny and Carlin already have a silver medal at the Tokyo Games having secured a silver in the team sprint along with Ryan Owens. 

Jack Carlin broke Kenny's Olympic record that he set in Rio to also progress in the men's sprint

Jack Carlin broke Kenny's Olympic record that he set in Rio to also progress in the men's sprint

Jack Carlin broke Kenny’s Olympic record that he set in Rio to also progress in the men’s sprint

As well as defending the sprint titles he won in London and Rio, Kenny is now looking to become Great Britain’s most successful Olympian of all time with a ninth medal in Japan.

Despite his low placing in qualification, the low risk element of being eliminated means here is likely plenty more to come from the 33-year-old and he remains among the favourites to take gold in Tokyo.  

Carlin (left) and Kenny (centre) are looking to add to their silver medals they picked up along with Ryan Owens in the team sprint earlier in the Tokyo Games

Carlin (left) and Kenny (centre) are looking to add to their silver medals they picked up along with Ryan Owens in the team sprint earlier in the Tokyo Games

Carlin (left) and Kenny (centre) are looking to add to their silver medals they picked up along with Ryan Owens in the team sprint earlier in the Tokyo Games

Along with the top three, among the challengers to Kenny is Paul Nicholas of Trinidad and Tobago.

Nicholas set a new world record of 9.100 two years ago and was fourth quickest at the velodrome.

Kenny will now take on Malaysian rider Mohd Azizulhasni in a head-to-head heat, with the winner advancing to the next stage while Carlin will face Nathan Hart of New Zealand later on Tuesday morning.

Link hienalouca.com

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