Jason Kenny becomes Britain's most decorated Olympian as GB cycling crown begins to slipp

Jason Kenny became Britain’s most decorated Olympian with a silver medal in the men’s team sprint but Team GB’s cycling crown is slipping after the Netherlands set a new Olympic en route to the gold.

Jason Kenny and wife Laura pose with their silver medals
Jason Kenny and wife Laura pose with their silver medals

The men’s silver came shortly after the women were outdone by a German team that smashed the world record, as the rest of the world begins to dismantle a world of British Olympic cycling dominance that included GB being knocked out of the men’s team pursuit, an event they have dominated for the best part of the last 15 years, after a controversial semi-final against Denmark culminating in Frederik Madsen crashing into Charlie Tanfield, screaming at him, and storming off.

Kenny missed the first of his three chances to move clear of Sir Chris Hoy's Olympic gold medal tally as Great Britain took silver in the men's team sprint but second was enough to make him Britain's most decorated Olympian. He has now equalled Sir Bradley Wiggins’ total number of medals but Kenny’s six golds and two silvers is better than Wiggo’s five golds, one silver, and two bronze.

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Kenny, Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens were comfortably beaten by the all-conquering Dutch, who set a new Olympic record of 41.369 seconds.

With the British riders struggling to hold one another's wheels they finished three seconds down on the Netherlands team, which hasn’t been beaten in a team sprint event since 2017.

Britain had set a time of 41.829 seconds in the first round, but the fight to earn a place in the gold medal race took a toll and they could not match a Dutch squad who had the luxury of a fourth rider to substitute in between rounds.

"We did the same thing we always do," Kenny said. "We came and emptied the tanks. We did our best ride, I think.

"We pretty much nailed it in the first round and then we rolled the dice and went after the win.

"It didn't go our way but they were better than us. We knew we had to get better in the past few years, we have improved a lot and made a reasonable step but it was not enough."

Kenny could yet add to his medal haul at Tokyo in Friday’s individual sprint and Sunday’s keirin.

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