Walls and Hayter believe Madison gold was within their grasp before being eclipsed by the Danes at Tokyo Olympics

The British duo helped put on a show as the men's Madison unfurled

Olympics
(Image credit: Getty)

The British Madison duo of Ethan Hayter and Matt Walls won an impressive silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics yet believe they could have maybe challenged the victorious Danes for gold.

"It's pretty great. It's a shame we didn't come away with gold, but yeah, we're still happy to get silver. The Danes were just so strong today," Walls said after the finish.

"It came down to three points in the end," Hayter added. "I was a bit rusty actually, I could probably have made the three points in some of those sprints."

The duo had opened their race well, picking up early sprint points to surge into the gold medal position, before seeming to fade in the middle of the race as the Danes took charge, then launching a late storming attack to claim the final sprint points and boost them up into second.

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“He chucks me in, and I’m going as hard as I can. I chuck him in, he went as hard as he can," Hayter explained, picking apart the finer points of the Madison discipline.

"We were not really thinking about the gold medal, it was a really tough race."

The pair helped Britain pull clear at the top of the Tokyo cycling medal table, the silver medal now the only difference between GB and the Netherlands.

“It looks crazy to watch, but surprisingly from the inside you’ve got a pretty good idea of what's going on because everyone kind of has the same speed as us," Hayter added. "From the outside it just looks crazy, but you’ve gotta keep track."

The Danes will prove popular winners, with Deceuninck - Quick-Step road racer Michael Mørkøv finally having a chance to take the top step of the podium himself after spending nearly every race day of most seasons riding to put others there.

“I've been waiting a very long time for this," Mørkøv said. "In 2008 my partner Alex Rasmussen and I were leading the world cup and we were among the favourites for the [Beijing] Games, and we finished sixth.

“The year after I was world champion and then this event was taken off the Olympic programme. It was a big bummer, but in 2017 when I heard it was back on the programme, I was in no doubt that this would be my shot at an Olympic medal.”

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.