Cycling: Kenny sprints to gold medal as Pendleton powers on
Jason Kenny became Britain’s first double gold medallist of the London 2012 Games after storming to victory in the individual sprint.
The 24-year-old was no match for Frenchman and world champion Gregory Bauge in the final, and Kenny sealed his second gold medal of the Olympics with a 2-0 win, much to the delight of the patriotic home crowd in the Velodrome.
Kenny, who won the silver medal in the individual event in Beijing four years ago, was a runner-up to Sir Chris Hoy. A change in the rules meant that each country could only select one rider per event and Kenny was given the nod ahead of Hoy to represent Team GB.
And how he has repaid the faith, as it is now two medals for Kenny as he adds to his gold medal from the team sprint, which he won along with Hoy and Philip Hindes last week.
The bronze medal went to Shane Perkins of Australia, who beat Trinidad and Tobago’s Njisane Nicholas Phillip.
Kenny’s triumph means Britain have now won five golds at the Velodrome from the seven events that have taken place so far and he said that Hoy had been his inspiration. Kenny admitted he was spurred on to victory in the men's sprint by the thought he could not let his Olympic room-mate Sir Chris Hoy down.
"It dawned on me in the last lap that if Chris had been in my shoes there was no way he would have lost. It was quite the battle with Chris to get here, and I didn't want to mess it up," Kenny said.
"If you look back at Chris's history you can see that nine times out of 10 he gets it done. He's got that killer instinct, and that's why he has won so many medals. So I'm really pleased to win but it is a shame that we could not have both been out there."
In the women’s individual sprint event, the favourites Victoria Pendleton and Anna Meares safely made it through to the semi-finals.
Pendleton, the defending Olympic champion and six-time world sprint queen, got the better of Olga Panarina of Belarus in her last eight encounter, and will face Germany’s Kristina Vogel in the semis, while Meares advanced with a 2-0 win over Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine.
A dark horse for this event is Guo Shuang, but the rider from China had to come from behind to win 2-1 in a decider to overcome Cuba’s Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez.
Meanwhile, Laura Trott won her second event in the women's omnium with victory in the elimination race. The result restored the 20-year-old world champion to the top of the standings.
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Samantha Murray secured Great Britain's 65th medal of London 2012 with yet another unlikely resurgence to claim silver.