Kenny’s medal hopes dashed

Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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Olympic champion Jason Kenny was eliminated from the men’s sprint on day four of the Track World Championships as Great Britain’s hopes of a gold medal looked to dwindle.

The London 2012 gold medallist has one world title in the event, from 2011, and Britain were looking to him and his fiancee Laura Trott in a bid for a first gold medal of the five-day competition at Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, near Paris.

Kenny met Venezuela’s Hersony Canelon in the first round but was unable to round his rival, tumbling out of the competition.

The last time Britain failed to win a gold medal at the Track World Championships was 2001 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Two silvers – in the men’s and women’s team pursuits – are all the dominant nation on the track for the last decade have mustered so far.

The flying 200metres seeded the riders for the one-on-one match sprints, with the top 24 of 34 riders who started advancing.

The Velodrome National track was conducive to rapid times in the sprint disciplines due to its steep bankings, which the riders can swoop down, and 25 riders clocked under 10 seconds.

Kenny clocked 9.804 seconds to qualify in 10th as 2013 world champion Stefan Boetticher of Germany advanced in first place in 9.641secs.

Kenny met 15th-fastest qualifier Canelon in the first round, but left himself too much to do as the Venezuelan progressed, dumping the Olympic champion out of the two-day competition, which concludes on Sunday’s final day.

Callum Skinner clocked 9.983 to place 23rd and squeeze through to the first round where he met second fastest qualifier Gregory Bauge of France.

Bauge dominated the event between 2009 and 2012, the only blip when an anti-doping infringement saw Kenny awarded the 2011 world title in his stead.

Skinner tried to surprise Bauge in the cat-and-mouse discipline by accelerating from the start, but the Frenchman kept pace and rounded the Briton on the final lap to advance and eliminate the Scot.

Ireland’s Eoin Mullen was beaten by Ed Dawkins of New Zealand to also exit.

Trott had work to do after the first of six disciplines in the women’s omnium, placing 13th in the 10-kilometres scratch race.

The 22-year-old was world and Olympic champion in 2012, but has finished second in the discipline at the last two Track World Championships.

The session began on schedule despite a crash during the warm-up involving Colombian sprinter Fabian Puerta and Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite, which saw both riders taken to hospital.

Both required lengthy medical attention before being taken away on stretchers following the incident, which saw the pair slide down the steep banking.

Puerta had blood pouring out of his mouth and his bike had a broken front fork, while Krupeckaite was able to sit up before being taken away for further treatment.

Repairs to the track were required, but the session began at the scheduled time.

Puerta had been warming-up for the men’s sprint competition but was unable to start.

Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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