Great Britain’s rivals in the track cycling at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be worried by their barn-storming performance on the opening night of competition at the velodrome, according to Olympian Chris Boardman.
GB ended Thursday evening in Brazil with a gold medal in the team sprint, a new world record in the women’s team pursuit and a fastest time of the night in the men’s team pursuit, performances Boardman says will leave their rivals thinking ‘oh no!’
“I think we’ve had a glimpse of form for everything that’s coming,” Boardman, who is commentating for the BBC at the Games, told Cycling Weekly. “You saw Jason Kenny, his body language said: ‘I’m in great shape.’ It was total confidence.”
Boardman’s comments were echoed by GB head coach Iain Dyer who explained that the team’s performance on the opening night of competition would inspire confidence in the rest of the squad for the remaining five days of racing.
“Everyone has stepped up today, bar the female sprinters [who didn’t race], and delivered everything we expected,” he said.
“When you’re executing [performances] as well as you are and you’re sitting next to the person you’ve trained with for weeks and months prior to this moment, you’ve got a barometer there, a gauge for how your training form is going, and that’s got to be fantastic for the rest of the team.”
Dyer added that Jason Kenny’s performance in particular led him to believe that further gold medals would follow for the 28 year-old from Bolton, echoing the thoughts of Sir Chris Hoy, whose record of six gold medals Kenny could equal with golds in the keirin and individual sprint.
“The sky is the limit [for Jason],” he said. “Coming away from an event like that and [his] confidence must be really, really high.
“You’ve seen the split times, you’ve seen the times he’s got against some of his competitors he’s facing in the sprint and the keirin.
“We’ve seen what he’s capable in the last month’s training coming into peak form, he’s in super shape. We’ve got plenty to look forward to.”