06 August 2021

Laura Kenny grabs record fifth gold to become most successful GB female Olympian

06 August 2021

Laura Kenny won her fifth Olympic gold with an historic victory alongside Katie Archibald in the Madison at Tokyo 2020.

After settling for silver in the team pursuit, the first time Kenny had ever taken anything other than gold in an Olympic event, the 29-year-old returned to the top step of the podium after dominating the first women’s Madison event in the history of the Games.

It further extends Kenny’s status as Britain’s most successful female Olympian and she has become the first British woman to win gold at three Olympic Games. She now has six Olympics medals – the same number as equestrian’s Charlotte Dujardin.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at her gold medals to date.

Britain’s most decorated female Olympians. See story OLYMPICS Cycling Laura Kenny. (PA Graphics)
Britain’s most successful female Olympians. See story OLYMPICS Cycling Laura Kenny. (PA Graphics)

Team Pursuit – London 2012

Laura Kenny, nee Trott, celebrated her first Olympic gold in the women’s team pursuit in 2012 (Tim Ireland/PA) (PA Archive)

The team pursuit was new to the women’s programme at the London Games. At the time it was a three-rider event across three kilometres in which Laura – then Trott prior to marrying Jason in late 2016 – raced alongside Dani King (now Rowe) and Joanna Rowsell. The trio would dominate from start to finish. Continuing a pattern from pre-Olympic events, they set a new world record in each round of the event – qualifying, the first round and the final – to storm to gold.

Omnium – London 2012

Trott powered to victory in the closing time trial to win omnium gold in London (Tim Ireland/PA) (PA Archive)

Two days after taking her first title, the 20-year-old Trott collected a second with victory in the omnium. She began the second day of the multi-discipline event leading the standings but dropped back behind the American Sarah Hammer, who stretched her advantage in the penultimate event, the scratch race. Needing to pull something out of the bag, Trott saved her best for last as she produced an Olympic record of 35.110 seconds in the closing 500m time trial to take gold.

Team Pursuit – Rio 2016

It was team pursuit gold once again in Rio (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)

Another Olympics, another set of world records in the team pursuit. By Rio, the event had been expanded to four riders and four kilometres, identical to the men’s event. Trott and Rowsell Shand were joined by Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker and picked up where they left off, repeating the trick of breaking the world record in qualifying, the first round and the final once again. It made Trott the first British woman to win three Olympic golds – an achievement matched by Dujardin 24 hours later.

Omnium – Rio 2016

Trott celebrated her omnium gold alongside husband-to-be Jason Kenny in Rio (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)

Trott began the omnium as the presumptive favourite and did not disappoint. She finished in the top two in five of the six events, winning three, to take a comfortable gold medal. Afterwards she claimed she did “not feel that good” during the Games, saying she had been a “passenger” in the team pursuit, but whatever her condition her rivals could get nowhere near as she once again moved clear of Dujardin as Britain’s most successful female athlete – having won gold in all four events she had entered to date.

Madison – Tokyo 2020

Kenny and Katie Archibald celebrate winning gold in the women’s Madison final (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Kenny, paired with Archibald, surpassed Dutchwoman Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel to become the most successful female cyclist in Olympic history as she took gold at a third consecutive Games. The British pair looked in control from the off, winning the first three sprints on the track and then further extending their advantage after the Dutch pair of Kirsten Wild and Amy Pieters, reigning world champions, were caught in a crash with a little over 70 laps remaining.

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