Laura Kenny and Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit squad had to settle for silver as Germany won gold in a world record time Her husband, Jason, took silver in the men’s team sprint shortly afterwards to become GB’s most decorated Olympian.
Laura Kenny had won gold in every Olympic event she had entered before this race and began the Games with the potential to reach seven golds and perhaps become Britain’s most decorated Olympian. Though the two teams had been closely matched in qualifying and in the first round, Germany dominated the final, stopping the clock in 4min 04.249sec.
Both teams had broken the world record in the first round, Britain setting a time of 4:06.748 before Germany responded with a 4:06.166. Britain’s celebrations for that record had been cut short when Katie Archibald crashed into Neah Evans after the finish.
“We knew [Germany] were going to go fast, but maybe not quite that fast,” said Kenny. Asked about the prospect of adding two more medals to her tally, she said: “Yeah, I’ll just keep turning up and see what happens.”
Evans said: “It’s really special. We were defending champions and there are huge expectations because we do have such a good reputation, but there are so many strong nations. We came out fighting but it wasn’t to be.”
Jason Kenny missed the first of his three chances to move clear of Chris Hoy’s Olympic gold medal tally. Kenny, tied with Hoy on six, rode with Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens, but they were comfortably beaten by the Netherlands, who set an Olympic record of 41.369sec.
With Britain struggling to hold one another’s wheels they finished well down on the Dutch, who have not been beaten in a team sprint event since 2017. The silver took Kenny to eight medals, the same as Bradley Wiggins, but with one more gold.