'I've never wanted to win a race so badly in all my life': Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald react to Tokyo 2020 Madison gold

The gold medal for Kenny makes her the most successful female British athlete in the Olympics

Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny celebrate gold medals at Tokyo 2020 Olympics
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald dominated the first-ever women's Olympic Madison at the Tokyo 2020 Games, with Kenny saying "I've never wanted to win a race so badly in all my life."

The British duo won the Madison by 43 points over the Danish pair of Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth, after the Team GB riders pulled off an amazing total of 78 points. 

>>> Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald crush the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Madison to take gold

Speaking after the race, Kenny said: "It's unbelievable. I'm just so glad. I've never wanted to win a race so badly in all my life. 

"That was the one. I messaged Jason [Kenny, her husband] this morning and said, 'I feel like my Olympics ends today.' The one race I really wanted to do was this and we went and did it."

With this gold, Kenny moves to the top spot of most successful British female athletes with five golds and a silver, moving her ahead of horse rider Charlotte Dujardin who has the same amount of medals but only three golds.  

Kenny and her husband Jason have both been competing in the Olympics and have been away from their son, Albie.

"I've never missed Albie so much in all my life. I kept saying to people, 'please don't ask me about Albie'.

"I couldn't have done it without these girls. It's so hard leaving him at home but to have Katie there the whole time, I just feel like I'm racing with a sister and I couldn't have done it if we didn't have that relationship."

Archibald took her second ever Olympic gold in the Madison after being in the team pursuit team in Rio 2016. She also took silver in that event at this year's Games. 

She shared the same view as Kenny, saying: "I've never wanted something so much and I've never been so nervous.

"We've been really clinical in our approach to this, none of this would have happened without Monica [Greenwood, British Cycling Olympic coach]. We had a change of coach last year, totally overhauled our entire approach to this event."

The duo won all but two intermediate sprints in Madison as well as the final effort to the line, and taking a lap gain to ensure sure the victory was theirs.

Archibald and Kenny now can focus on the Omnium and a chance of a third medal at the games to go with their golds and silvers. This gold, as well as Matt Walls' gold in the Omnium on August 5, will also boost their confidence. 

"I feel like we're going after the all-round at this track Olympics spreading between Madison and Omnium and it feels so satisfying for it to come off. I've never wanted something so much.

"My mum is one for turning into the sofa rather than the racing. It's always scarier on the sidelines than in the action, in the action you get the reward."

The Omnium is the last event for both riders and it also closes the track racing on the final day of the Games on August 8.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.