Team GB’s eight-time Olympic medallist Jason Kenny says that the men’s team sprint trio gambled with their tactics after a disappointing ride in the final at Tokyo 2020.
The British team finished three seconds down as the Netherlands took gold in a new Olympic record – the third time in three rides that the Dutch team had broken the record in Japan.
In an attempt to match the dominant Dutch the British squad went for a bigger gear, according to Kenny. But the plan backfired when the trio couldn’t get on the wheel, leaving them spaced out throughout the race.
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“I think we poured it all in to get to the final and then we rolled the dice in the final, geared up and went for it, and we were rubbish,” Kenny told Eurosport.
At the end of the day we emptied the tanks. but we had to try at the end of the day, because we had a bit of ground to make up.
“We were the second best team and that’s the way it is. We’re happy, well I’m happy, I don’t know about these lads.”

'Jason did three laps on his own'

Kenny’s silver medal is his eighth at an Olympic Games, drawing him level with Bradley Wiggins as the most decorated British Olympian of all time.
And Wiggins was watching on from track-side to analyse how the race went for GB.
“Jason has now equalled my medal tally, so he’s now the joint most decorated British Olympian,” Wiggins said.
“It was always expected really, Britain have won the last three Olympiads in this discipline. But it went horribly wrong in the final for Team GB.
“Jason Kenny, from what I saw at the start, just did not get on (the back wheel).
“The speeds these guys are starting at now, man one gets almost a push off the gate. Now riders two and three have hand-held starts and it’s very difficult to get a push-off and they have to work extra-hard.
Jason just did not get on, that’s why we saw the gaps between the riders. He essentially did three laps on his own.
“We saw him tiring terribly at the end there, and they lost by three seconds. The race was done and dusted really after two laps.
“The Dutch were always going to be red-hot favourites, they set Olympic records in every round and they came out with a gold medal.”

Bitter-sweet silver for Carlin and Owens

Kenny’s two team-mates Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens were competing at their first Olympics and were keen to look ahead to trying to challenge the Dutch in France in three years’ time.
“If someone told us before the Games that we’d be walking away with a medal I’d have taken it,” Carlin said.
We knew we were coming in second best to the Dutch, and that’s still the case, they’re on top again.
“It’s been a long cycle and there’s only three years until the next one, so it’s time to get the heads down again and see what happens the next time.”

Silver medalists Jack Carlin, Jason Kenny and Ryan Owens

Image credit: Getty Images

And 25-year-old Owens was delighted to pick up a first Olympic medal of his career.
“I’m absolutely buzzing,” he said.
We gave everything today, you can see that in the first round – it’s a British record and we had an Olympic record for a little while there as well.
“But these Dutch boys have been unstoppable like this for five years.
“It’s been a long journey, there’s been a lot of in-house drilling it and making sure we could come here and give our best, and we came here and gave the best we’ve ever given.
“We emptied the tanks. I’m proud of these boys and here’s to the next one.”
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