Peerless Hoy delivers sixth gold
LONDON (Reuters) – Chris Hoy was the overwhelming favourite and he duly delivered when he powered to victory in the keirin, clinching his sixth Olympic gold medal to ensure Britain matched their Beijing record of seven track titles on Tuesday.
Hoy, who has six golds and one Games silver to his name, produced his effort two laps from the finish, as usual, and although he was pushed to the limit by silver medallist Maximilian Levy of Germany, he crossed the line in front.
“There have been some really difficult moments and to get through them all, after 16 years, it’s just one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had,” said Hoy, who is expected to retire after the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
New Zealand’s Simon van Velthooven and Dutchman Teun Mulder both took bronze after a photo finish could not separate them.
It is the first time in Olympic history that four medals were awarded in a single cycling event.
It was Hoy’s seventh Games medal, which puts him ahead of Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins on ‘gold difference’ as Britain’s most decorated Olympian.
Wiggins has four Olympic titles to Hoy’s six after the Scot won the team sprint event with Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny last Thursday.
With his team sprint and keirin victories, Hoy has retained two of his three Beijing titles but could not defend the third after he was omitted in favour of eventual champion Jason Kenny to represent Britain in the individual sprint.
“I’m in shock. I’m trying to take it all in, but this is surreal. It is what I always wanted – to win gold in front of my home crowd. I can’t express the feelings I’m having right now. It’s just the most amazing feeling,” Hoy added.
“This is the perfect end to my Olympic career. At Sydney (in 2000), I was just over the moon with a silver medal. If I’d have stopped then I would have been a happy boy, but to go on to Athens, Beijing and here, I can’t put it into words.”
Asked if he would compete in Rio in 2016, Hoy said it was highly unlikely.
“I’m 99.9 per cent sure that I won’t be in Rio. Glasgow 2014 (for the Commonwealth Games), if I can keep going that would be the dream ending for me,” he said.
Tuesday’s performance, which helped him surpass rower Steve Redgrave’s British record of five Olympic gold medals, was nothing short of perfect.
Having advanced unchallenged from the first two rounds, Hoy had enough gas left in the tank to contain Levy.
The German went on the outside and gained a slight advantage on the last bend, but Hoy pushed harder on the pedals to win by a comfortable margin, punching the air in delight before bursting into tears on the podium.
Pic – Britain’s Chris Hoy celebrates….