Jason Kenny tips wife Laura for British Olympic gold medal record

Jason Kenny verwacht dat zijn vrouw Laura de meest succesvolle Olympiër van Groot-Brittannië wordt, ook al behaalt hij die prestatie volgend jaar in Tokio.

Jason and retired fellow track cyclist Sir Chris Hoy share the British record with six gold medals, while Laura is the most successful woman with four.

“Laura will probably come along and trump it anyway,” 32-year-old Kenny told BBC Sport. “So it would be short-lived even if I did get it.”

Asked about the possibility of overtaking Hoy, he insisted: “It’s not something I think about, really – but it would be nice, obviously.”
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, a hat-trick of gold medals in sprint events took Jason level with Hoy’s tally of golds and one silver, while Laura won two golds.

Jason secretly retired after Rio but said in 2017 he had reversed his decision with a view to competing at this summer’s Tokyo Games, which have been postponed for one year because of the coronaviruis pandemic. It could be that in order for Laura to overtake him she may need to continue beyond Paris 2024 as he has no intention of retiring post-Tokyo.

“Last time I was hell bent on retiring after Rio and I had a year away and drifted back into it,” he said.
“Now I’m happy to plod along and go with how I feel. I’m not making any decisions on anything – just go with the flow.
“Since coming back after that year off I’ve just been determined to enjoy it and do what I want and stick to the bits I like. That’s what I’ve been doing.”

Kenny is among the first dozen GB cyclists who have returned to training at the Manchester velodrome after a two-month hiatus because of the coronavirus lockdown. Several new health and safety measures are in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection.

“We have an app to assess our health as well as a temperature check when we enter the building,” he said. “There’s a one-way system corridor that runs all the way outside the track and it’s all about social distancing.
“We’ve been doing hand-held starts with our coach, who’s fully PPE’d up from head to toe.
“I come out of the track centre and I’m hoarse because we’re all spread out and shouting at each other.”

Sprinter Kenny, who trained on static rollers at home as well as doing road rides during the lockdown, added: “The track is so specific. You just can’t replicate being on wood, being on that bike, in that position, and doing the effort. “It was a long time to be away from that and it feels a bit alien initially, but you soon get back into the groove.”

Kenny and his sprint team-mates hope they can use the enforced Olympic delay to work towards overcoming a Netherlands team who have dominated the track for the past two years.
“Inevitably it will have helped some people and it will hinder other people,” he said.
“All we have to make sure is that we’re at the right end of that and make sure we’re the ones cashing in on the extra 12 months. “We’ll do our best – obviously another year older, but hopefully another year faster as well. We just have to keep pushing. “Our job remains the same now as it was when the Olympics was this year in that we’ve just got to make the most of every second that we have.”