'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.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm 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. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.