Tokyo 2020: 'Germany took everyone by surprise,' says Laura Kenny after team pursuit silver medal

The team now looks ahead to the Paris 2024 Games in three years time

Katie Archibald, Neah Evans, Laura Kenny and Josie Knight on the podium with their silver medals at Tokyo 2020
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The British women were not able to defend their team pursuit title for a third Olympic Games in a row at Tokyo 2020, as they lost out to a flying German team that broke the world record three times.

Katie Archibald, Neah Evans, Laura Kenny, Josie Knight, and Elinor Barker in the qualifiers put in a great ride to take silver and a fast time, but the Germans were too strong.

The team took heart from their performance and chose to look at the positives and ahead to the next Olympics in three years time at Paris 2024.

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Katie Archibald said after the race: "We are proud, the pandemic may have taken away our race opportunities but we never lost our job as team pursuiters."

The rider from Milngavie in Scotland was keen to thank all who have supported them over the past year.

"We've been supported by British Cycling, supported by UK Sport, supported by The National Lottery players all through the pandemic, and we've pulled it through to a silver medal, second-best in the world. We've got three years [until Paris 2024] to try again."

Laura Kenny came into the team after the qualifiers, replacing Elinor Barker. With this silver medal, Kenny now moves joint second in the list of the most successful British female athletes, just one medal behind horse rider Charlotte Dujardin who is on six.

This is what the five-time Olympic medalist had to say: "I think Germany took everyone by surprise. They were the quickest at World [Championships], but they didn't get it right, we knew they were going to go fast, maybe just not that fast."

For Evans and Knight, it is their first time on the podium at an Olympic Games and they were very pleased they were able to soak it all up, but still looking forward to Paris 2024.

"It's really special. Obviously, we were the defending champions, we have the reputation but there are so many strong nations fighting," said Evans. 

With Knight finally adding: "Last year I didn't expect to be here so to be on the start line with these girls is incredible."

The riders will now look towards their other events at the Games with some riding as soon as tomorrow with the first-ever women's Madison at the Olympic Games.

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