Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Matthew Walls takes gold in omnium as Scotland's Jack Carlin reaches sprint semis

Matthew Walls took gold on his Olympic debut as the 23-year-old stormed to victory in the omnium event at the Izu Velodrome in Tokyo.

Matthew Walls celebrates winning gold in the Men's Omnium
Matthew Walls celebrates winning gold in the Men's Omnium

The Team GB rider dominated the track, finishing on 153 points – 24 ahead of silver medallist Campbell Stewart of New Zealand.

Defending champion Elia Viviani of Italy took bronze but Walls’ medal marks a first track cycling gold of the 2020 Games for Great Britain, and adds to his personal tally of world championship bronze and European Under-23 title – a not unimpressive achievement given his battle with Covid-19 earlier this year.

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Walls topped the overall standings going into the final points race having secured victory in the opening scratch race, third in the tempo race, and second in the elimination race.

"I managed to get a good lead coming into the end. It's been a hard day but I came into that points race with a bit of a lead and breathing room," he told BBC Sport afterwards.

“Thank you to all my family and friends. I wouldn't be here without them, especially my parents."

His victory came just hours after Jason Kenny’s nine-year reign as Olympic cycling sprint champion was ended by Dutch favourite Harrie Lavreysen.

The 33-year-old has been struggling with fatigue and was comprehensively beaten in just two heats by the Netherlands rider.

Kenny had already needed to win a repechage to even reach the last eight, after losing to Russian cyclist Denis Dmitriev in an earlier heat, and will go again to decide the fifth to eighth place finishes later on Thursday.

He said: “I’ve been struggling a bit with recovering. It felt like every ride was a final and I rode it like it as well.”

On Wednesday Kenny and GB team-mates Ryan Owens and Scotland' s Jack Carlin had won silver in the team sprint and the Paisley-born cyclist comfortably saw off France’s Sebastien Vigier and German veteran Max Levy to reach the semi-finals of the men’s sprint.

The Scot represents Britain’s best hopes of a medal in the event, according to Kenny.

"He's definitely our best chance. The Dutch boys are fast, a little bit quicker, but Jack's got the edge in racing. He's a good racer and if he keeps it together he's in a really good position,” he told the BBC.

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