Laura Kenny has said she’ll be glad to put the last month behind her after suffering two heavy crashes in race in Canada and at the World Championships today in Berlin.
Kenny completed the ominium at the World Championships even though all hope of a medal had disappeared when she came down hard in the opening scratch race.
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That misfortune followed on from her training up to the Worlds being compromised by a crash at the Milton round of the Track World Cup in Canada last month, which left her with fractured right shoulder, a concussion and a black eye.
“I should probably stop head-butting the floor shouldn’t I?” said Kenny as she sported a smile and four stitches aside her second black eye in a month. “It’s just been one of those months. One to forget. But Sir Chris just spoke to me and said: ‘You know what, in six months time this will all be forgotten.’ And he’s right. It just wasn’t my day today.
“But I’m glad I got back up and raced. I came here to race. Rightly or wrongly. Some people would say I didn’t have the form I should have. Maybe not. But I would never have known that [if I hadn’t raced].”
Recalling the crash she said: “Instantly I knew it wasn’t bad. In Canada, straight away it took my breath away because it hurt so much. I know I lay there for a while but I didn’t want to get up and make it worse.
“I just wanted the okay from Nige [Jones, team doctor]. He slowly got me up and straight away I thought ‘It’s fine. I haven’t made it worse.’ I’ve strained the muscle at the front here [of my shoulder], which means I can’t lift my arm above my head again. But it’s only muscles. They’ll fix after about a week.”
Kenny finished the omnium in twelfth place with half the points of overall winner and new world champion Yumi Kajihara from Japan.
Kenny conceded that it was unlikely that she would have been challenging for medals at the Worlds given how the Canada crash compromised her run in to the championships. “The annoying thing was the two weeks of training I really needed were the two weeks I missed. The final training camp. And I wasn’t on it because of the concussion protocol and my broken shoulder. But I needed it because it’s the top up.
“You can’t turn up at the Worlds having missed four weeks of training and expect to win,” she said.
Kenny then added: “It was the experience I wanted and the learning from it. I haven’t raced against these. This is the first omnium I have done at worlds since 2016. I had to put it on the line a little bit and get amongst it.”
That was a big part of why she remounted and continued the omnium even after any hope of getting a medal had slipped away.
“I’m obviously gutted but I’m glad I finished the race. I would have been quite easy for me to say after that, ‘You know what I’m not carrying on, I’ve had enough’ but I wanted to race so I did,” she said.
Kenny’s focus will now shift to the Tokyo Olympics where she still wants to race the team pursuit, the Madison and the omnium.