Will Kenny dash Hoy's dream of being greatest British Olympian
21:08 GMT, 7 April 2012
Sir Chris Hoy's dream of becoming the
most successful British Olympian ever was rocked on Saturday when Jason
Kenny presented British cycling with a nightmare dilemma by beating the
Olympic champion in the men's sprint semi-final at the world
championships in Melbourne.
In doing so, Kenny nudged himself ahead in the race to be Britain's sole representative in the event at the London Olympics.
Wheel gone kid: Kenny (left) in front against France's Gregory Bauge in their men's sprint final
Hoy, the defending Olympic champion after his triple gold triumphs at the 2008 Beijing Games, to add to his kilo gold in 2004, hopes to compete in London in the same three events again this summer – the individual sprint, the team sprint with Kenny and one other rider, and the keirin.
He needs one more gold to beat Sir Steve Redgrave's five golds and a bronze.
That would give him five golds and a silver (team sprint in Sydney), but he is in danger of losing one chance after Kenny beat him 2-0 in their all-British semi-final in Australia.
Selection problem: Jason Kenny starred in Australia
It was a repeat of the 2008 Olympic final but Hoy then won the first two legs and since then it has been nip and tuck.
At a World Cup event in February, the 36-yearold Scot beat the 24-year-old from Bolton but yesterday the tables were turned in the last race before the Olympics.
The British Olympic cycling team will be announced in June and both riders admitted that the outcome of Melbourne would have a significant bearing on selection.
The dilemma has arisen because, after Beijing, a one rider or team per nation per event rule was introduced, which removes the chance of a final repeat of Beijing 2008.
'There was no gold, but I guess it gave the selectors something to think about and Jason did a really good ride,' Hoy admitted after beating Australia's Shane Perkins 2-0 to claim bronze.
'Whoever gets to ride at the Olympics in the sprint will do a good job, I'm sure. We've had five selection events this year and that was the final one. It was the most important. I've won three of those and a bronze here, but if Jason gets the place then he deserves it.'
Whoever gets the nod may have to overcome Gregory Bauge. He beat Kenny 2-0 in yesterday's final after the Briton's equalising win was overturned.
Spokesmen: Kenny (right) and Bauge race in their first heat of the final
Kenny made an early break in the second leg and held on to win, but officials ruled he had crossed the sprint line to impede Bauge and reversed the outcome, to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
Kenny was philosophical about the decision but head coach Shane Sutton was furious.
'Bauge had conceded the sprint and yet they relegated Jason,' he said.
'You can tell by the reaction of the crowd that it was a joke.'
Hoy has another crack at a world title today when he competes in the keirin.