In the end it was only fitting that the last two gold medals of Great Britain’s near faultless campaign in the velodrome at the Rio Olympics went to Laura Trott and Jason Kenny.
With Trott cementing her fourth gold with a dominant ride in the final round of the omnium, the points race, her fiancé Kenny won his third gold of the Games – and sixth of his career – in a keirin final of unrivalled drama to round off the track competition in Brazil.
Kenny’s lunge to the line after the keirin had twice been neutralized brought the Olympic velodrome to its feet. His kiss, shared with a tearful Trott on the home straight, brought it to tears.
The golden couple now have 10 gold medals between them, five of them coming at these Games. If the Trott-Kenny household were a nation, on Tuesday evening it sat 13th in the medal table, just above Spain.
Trott is again the most successful British female Olympian ever (dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin drew level on two gold medals for just 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday before Trott’s omnium victory).
Kenny is now the joint most successful British Olympian of all time, a position shared with Sir Chris Hoy. The pair have blown away the benchmark of British Olympic achievement, much like the British track team has blown away all of its rivals at this year’s Games.
“It just seems mad to me honestly,” Trott said when asked whether she had considered a damehood. “Things like that come with winning gold medals, I get that, but for me I just feel like that eight year old that started cycling because she absolutely loved it.”
If any two athletes at these Games sum up Britain’s sheer dominance on the boards, it is these two. Kenny retains his record of being unbeaten by anyone in the Olympic Games except Chris Hoy. In fact he has only been beaten once in Rio, in the first match up in his sprint semi-final by the Russian Denis Dmitriev. He won the next two rounds.
Trott, undefeated in the women’s team pursuit, was either first or second in all of her omnium events and by half way through the final points race, her closest rivals Sarah Hammer (USA) and Jolien D’Hoore (Belgium) were already racing for silver.
After their success the two explained how they help each other in their golden partnership.
“Jason puts up with so much rubbish on a daily basis from me and we go through such highs and lows,” Trott said. “And because he does go through the same things as I do its great, he knows how to deal with me, he knows what to say because he’s been through it himself. I think that has been such a massive help to me, he knows me inside out, he knows what to say and when to say it.”
“I think the thing that we understand most of all is that there are times when you have to step back and let them have a rant,” Kenny said. “Certainly Laura does a good rant.
“The thing about being together for me is that we get to share these moments together. I got to see my parents there for a few minutes, and that’s what most people are confined to, a quick hug and then it’s ceremony and off to anti-doping. It’s nice for us to be able to share these special moments.”
At 24 and 28 respectively, Trott and Kenny could be sharing their special Olympic moments for years to come.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.
Check out Bradley Wiggins' Butterfly bike: a 10th anniversary celebration of his historic 2012 TdF and Olympic campaign
Specially commissioned Factor Ostro features hand-painted artwork and a list of luxury components
By Luke Friend • Published
Laka bicycle insurance gives you five-star service with fairer pricing
There’s an offer of 30 days of free insurance for Cycling Weekly readers
By Paul Norman • Published
‘If it’s not reviewed then it’s pretty criminal’ - Matt Bostock joins calls for urgent track barrier safety review
Bostock one of two riders hospitalised after velodrome incident at the Commonwealth Games 2022
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Laura Kenny gets over 'serious confidence crisis' to take England's first Commonwealth Games track gold
Five-time Olympic champion triumphed in the 10km scratch race, making her "nightmare" year a little better
By Adam Becket • Published
Sir Chris Hoy calls for better safety measures after Commonwealth Games crash
Three riders were hospitalised yesterday after a horrific crash at Lee Valley VeloPark
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Ethan Hayter and Laura Kenny headline Team England's line up for 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
Commonwealth Games at home will make up for Olympics where 'no friends and family could come out', Josie Knight told Cycling Weekly
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Katie Archibald leads after opening night of Track Champions League debut
Archibald leads the Endurance League after the first night of racing
By Jonny Long • Published
Great Britain make history on first day of Track Cycling World Championships
Three titles were awarded on the opening day, in the women’s scratch race and the men's and women's team sprints
By Ryan Dabbs • Published
Katie Archibald crowned European scratch race champion in first race since Olympic success
Great Britain took gold in the women’s scratch on the opening night of racing at the European Championships in Switzerland
By Alex Ballinger • Published