Cyclist Jason Kenny becomes most successful British Olympian in history with men’s keirin gold medal in Tokyo

Laura Kenny said she was surprised at husband Jason’s victory, but said it was ‘just typical’ of him to pull off the win

Jason Kenny picked up his seventh Olympic gold medal with a stunning victory in the men’s keirin on Sunday, making him the most decorated British Olympian in history.

He is the first Briton to win seven Olympic gold medals as he took a stunning victory, moving him one ahead of former British cycling great Chris Hoy.

It also makes Kenny the first Briton to win nine Olympic medals as he adds it to the team sprint silver he took on Tuesday alongside Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens.

Gold medalist Jason Kenny of Team GB, poses on the podium during the medal ceremony after the Men's Keirin final of the track cycling on day sixteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

British boxer Lauren Price also secured a gold – Team GB’s 65th and final medal in Tokyo – in the women’s middleweight final to bring the curtain down on the Games.

Kenny had complained of being out of form during the men’s sprint earlier this week, but managed to ride away from the field to win by a gap of 0.763 seconds from Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia.


It means Kenny successfully defended the keirin title he took at the Rio games in 2016 – and he did so at the home of the discipline in Izu, where Japan’s elite keirin school is based.

“Seven gold medals is really special, when you look back on the ones you have already got it seems pretty easy,” Kenny said following the race. “Then when you try and get more, you remember how hard it is.”

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‘Maybe I have bought myself more time’

Kenny had walked away from cycling after Rio, never announcing he had retired until he reversed the decision in late 2017.

He began Sunday thinking he might be starting his final race but ended it as Britain’s most successful Olympian and wondering if there is more to come.


“Before today I had all but given up, I was counting my career in days and races as opposed to years, but maybe I have bought myself more time now.”

Kenny could have been forgiven for taking his eye off the ball in this event, with his warm-ups for the quarter-finals earlier on Sunday morning interrupted when his wife Laura crashed heavily in the opening scratch race of the women’s omnium and was slow to get up.

Laura Kenny was surprised at husband Jason’s victory in the men’s keirin final at the Tokyo Olympics but said it was “just typical” of him to pull off the win and become the most decorated British Olympian in history.

Laura, Great Britain’s most successful female athlete with five golds, said even she was not sure Jason could win gold at four consecutive Games.

“The amount of people who came up to me afterwards and were like ‘I’d have counted him out of this’ – and to be honest, so had I!” she told BBC Sport.

“I was speaking to him last night and he was like, ‘I just want to go home’. Then obviously he won – just typical Jason, that.”


The global body for the sport, Union Cycliste Internationale, tweeted the achievement was “incredible” after the triumph. He was also praised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who wrote on Twitter: “This is magnificent. Jason Kenny – the greatest British Olympian ever.”

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