Tokyo 2020 - Laura Kenny misses out on medal as USA's Jennifer Valente claims outstanding omnium victory
Kenny finished 12 points behind the medals after a surprise early elimination in the penultimate omnium race. Japan's Yumi Kajihara survived a late crash to cling on to silver ahead of Kirsten Wild, who finally won her first Olympic medal at the age of 38. You want it? We have it. Stream every Olympic event live on discovery+
‘Oh my goodness!’ – Laura Kenny excels in points race but Valente seals omnium gold
The USA's Jennifer Valente claimed a brilliant Olympic title in the women's omnium in the final track cycling event at Tokyo 2020.
The American produced a strong performance in the deciding points race to take an impressive victory.
Japan's Yumi Kajihara survived a late crash to take silver, two points clear of Kirsten Wild (Netherlands), who produced a surging final race to take a long-coveted Olympic medal to cap an illustrious career.
Despite scoring the most points in the finale, Kenny had left herself which too much to do and could not produce the lap of the field needed to force her way back into contention at the top of the field.
Laura Kenny of Team Great Britain sprints ahead of Maria Martins of Team Portugal and Clara Copponi of Team France during the Women's Omnium points race, 4 round of 4 of the track cycling on day sixteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on
Image credit: Getty Images
Valente, however, was supreme, taking the first five points on offer at the opening intermediate sprint.
She picked and chose her moments as a succession of groups tried to go clear, and sealed it with a second place behind Kenny at the final sprint, celebrating as she crossed the line.
The most dangerous of the moves came from Wild and Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark), who finished fourth.
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The pair briefly appeared likely to achieve the lap needed to earn 20 points, with Kajihara forced to close them down desperately to hold on to silver.
The Japanese rider then went down after a coming together with Wild, with the field sportingly waiting for the home favourite before racing resumed with six laps to go.
Kajihara finished with just two points from the final race but her strong performance in the elimination race proved key as she held on to silver.
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Valente ended up on 124 points, 14 clear of Kajihara.
Wild had 108, winning an intriguing battle with Dideriksen (103), who didn't quite have the endurance to challenge Wild for bronze at the last after a long mid-race solo effort.
Anita Stenberg finished one point clear of Kenny, whose 24 sprint points in the final race left her 12 points off of the medals on 96 total omnium points.
It closed a dramatic day at Izu Velodrome, and a dramatic quartet of omnium races.