Olympics: Sir Chris Hoy denied chance to defend his golden haul as Scot is dropped from sprint event
SIR Chris Hoy – Scotland’s most successful Olympian – will be denied the chance to match his record haul of three gold medal wins after being dropped from the individual sprint event.
Sir Chris rode his way into the history books after taking the trio of medals during the 2008 Beijing Games.
But it was announced last night that his team-mate, Jason Kenny, will compete in the sprint event in London, with Sir Chris only taking part in the team sprint and keirin events.
British cycling performance director Dave Brailsford had opted the leave the decision open as long as possible, but Kenny finished second ahead of Sir Chris at the World Championships in Melbourne earlier this year and was ultimately given the nod by selectors.
Last night, Sir Chris said: “Whilst I’m obviously disappointed not to be defending all three of my 2008 Olympic titles in London, Jason thoroughly deserves this opportunity and has a great chance of success in the sprint.
“I am now focused entirely on the keirin and team sprint, and my goals for those two events haven’t changed.”
Sir Chris and Kenny will both compete in the team sprint. Philip Hindes and reserve Ross Edgar join them.
Mr Brailsford said that the final selection had been difficult. “Both Chris and Jason are on great form, and that made it a difficult choice, but we have decided to select Jason to contest the sprint and Chris will concentrate on the keirin,” he said. “We believe this gives us the strongest team possible going into the Games.”
Bolton rider Kenny, 24, finished second behind Sir Chris in the sprint in Beijing, but the pair have been evenly matched when they have gone head to head recently.
Sir Chris recently said that while he was desperate to defend all three of his Olympic titles, he was unsure about whether he would be allowed to take part in the sprint.
Speaking last month, he said that the situation had been a major motivating factor. “The coaches will put in the best-placed person to go out there and try and win the gold, so we are both training as hard as we can and trying to make sure it is us that gets the one spot,” he said.
Last night, former Team GB member and Scotland team-mate Craig Maclean said: “It could have gone either way, and both are capable of winning it.
“It’s such a tragic situation that we can only nominate one person, given that they are gold and silver medallists from the previous games. I don’t think he [Hoy] will have taken it hard.
“To repeat what he did in Beijing, it’s not unheard of and he’s more than capable of it, but it would be a massive undertaking and he’s not going to be greedy about it.”
But Maclean, a good friend of Hoy, said that he thought the selection would not be “set in stone” and that the selectors would “reserve the right” to change their mind.
l For the latest Olympics news see www.scotsman.com/uk
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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