Laura Kenny broke down in tears on Friday after winning her fifth Olympic gold medal, saying she hoped her three-year-old son Albie would be proud of her.
Already the most successful British female athlete in Games history, Kenny added the madison title to her list of cycling achievements alongside team-mate Katie Archibald.
The 29-year-old, who married fellow Olympic great
Laura Kenny (L) broke down in tears on Friday after winning her fifth Olympic gold medal
After her latest remarkable victory by a crushing 43 points over the Danes, Kenny was emotional as she said: ‘Albie’s gone to London with my parents this week. It’s just brought a completely different… I don’t know why I feel sad.
‘I’ve never missed him so much in my life. I kept saying, “Don’t ask me about Albie”. It’s so hard leaving him at home.
‘I couldn’t have done it without these girls. With Katie, I feel as if I am racing with my sister.
Kenny added the madison title to her list of achievements alongside team-mate Archibald
‘When I had Albie I just wanted to make him so proud and there was a point when I thought, “This isn’t going to happen again”. I don’t think I have won a bike race since I have been a Kenny! I started to think that I shouldn’t have changed my name! Trott was the lucky name. I hope I have made him proud.
Kenny’s incredible medal collection
London 2012 – Gold in Omnium and Team Pursuit
Rio 2016 – Gold in Omnium and Team Pursuit
Tokyo 2020 – Gold in Madison, silver in Team Pursuit
Seven gold medals, seven silvers, one bronze
14 gold medals, three silvers, one bronze
‘I have won a European title, I suppose, but this is my first Olympic gold since he was born. And it’s the one Katie and I really wanted. I messaged Jason this morning and told him that.’
Kenny and Archibald, 27, controlled the race from the off to claim the team’s second gold in the velodrome in as many days, following Matt Walls’ victory in the omnium on Thursday. Jack Carlin added bronze in the men’s sprint. Kenny took up the story of the day and revealed their secret training regime.
‘I’ve never seen Katie so nervous in all my life than this morning,’ said Kenny. ‘She was walking around and I was thinking, “If you don’t sit down I am going to throw up! You are spreading this nervous energy all over me and making me nervous, and I’m already really nervous”.
‘Before the start I thought, “I could throw up right this second”. I just feel we worked so hard for this medal and I’m so glad it’s paid off.
‘But, no, I couldn’t believe we would score 78 points. The team pursuit (earlier in the week) seemed to consume me this time. I was so nervous for it. I felt like I could only play a small part in that team pursuit. And once it was over, I just felt so excited.
‘This was the one race I felt we were so prepared for as a partnership. I feel as if I’m giving all our secrets away but we’ve been training with the Under 23 and junior lads, doing madison after madison. And we had a plan that we rode to. And it worked!’
The GB athlete (middle) said she hoped her three-year-old son Albie would be proud of her
Was it wise to divulge this clandestine practice? ‘Well you’ve got to have the development squads to be able to do it. That’s where British Cycling is so fortunate. I think having Monica (Greenwood, podium women’s endurance coach) married to Ben, who is the Under 23 coach, played a huge part in the success.
‘Others showed how much the lack of racing has had an effect, because I’ve never been involved in a madison where it just seemed like there were people and bodies everywhere. I can’t thank the junior and Under 23 lads enough.’
The Dutch pair of Kirsten Wild and Amy Pieters were a big threat but they were caught up in an accident midway through the race in a boost to the British cause. Archibald said: ‘The Dutch were the ones we were watching. They are two-times world champions. It’s unfortunate to see them come down.’
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