Tokyo 2020: Jason Kenny and Katy Marchant share disappointment after missing out on medals

The two riders had been hoping to be in the fight for the gold medal in their respective events

Katy Marchant and Jason Kenny
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jason Kenny and Katy Marchant came into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with realistic hopes of medalling in the sprint and the Keirin respectively, but it was not meant to be for the British stars of the track.

Marchant was looking on fire in her Keirin heats, even after she was relegated and forced to ride the Repechage.

But a crash on the second and final day of competition in the women's Keirin spelt the end of the road for her, as she came down with Dutch rider Laurine van Riessen, who was taken away on a stretcher due to her injuries.

Fortunately for Marchant, she was okay and finished the race but it marked the end of the Keirin competition for the rider from Leeds in West Yorkshire.

>>> Britain’s Matt Walls wins gold in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Omnium, Elia Viviani claims bronze

After the race, she said: "I think that's just bike racing - wrong place, wrong time. I just hope that everyone is alright. I'm alright, a little bit battered and bruised, but alright.

"I needed to finish the race in case anything came up on the results, with a relegation or something like that, I'm not really sure what happened but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in it. But I'm back tomorrow to start the sprint competition."

Kenny came into the men's sprint as defending Olympic champion and would have been motivated after already losing one of his three Olympic titles in the team sprint.

But after a slower than expected qualifying time, Kenny had a lot to do. While he was able to get through the first couple of match sprint heats he was required to go into the Repechage, eventually knocking out the likes of Malaysian star Azizulhasni Awang.

But eventually Kenny met Dutch favourite Harrie Lavreysen in the quarter-finals, who beat the eight-time Olympic medal winner in the first two of three sprints, knocking Kenny out of the chances of getting a medal.

Kenny then came last in the fifth to eighth place final, putting him eighth overall in the Olympic men's sprint. 

Kenny, who already has a silver medal from the team sprint earlier this week, said: "Nothing changed from yesterday, I was just taking it one ride at a time. Obviously, once I went out against Denis [Dmitriev], it was hard. It was savage.

"And then straight up against one of the fastest guys in the field [Lavreysen], so it was always going to be a tough ask from there. That's just where I am physically at the minute.

"I don't expect to be the best in the world all the time, it is really hard to win at the end of the day. It was really hard five years ago [at Rio 2016] and it will be hard for whoever takes it. I gave it my best shot but it wasn't good enough really.

"For whatever reason, I am not good enough physically and these boys are just better."

Kenny also was very keen to thrown praise at fellow Team GB rider and gold medalist, Matt Walls who took Britain's first gold on the track by winning the Omnium. 

"He was phenomenal, wasn't he? It never looked in doubt from the moment he rolled off the start line," Continued Kenny. "He is my roommate as well but I can't take all the credit. I don't know what I said but it obviously stuck."

Kenny and Marchant both still have one event remaining, with Marchant starting her sprint campaign on Friday, August 6 and Kenny will be back racing in the men's Keirin qualifiers on Saturday, August 7.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is 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.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.