The Brits put on a golden performance to claim the Olympic title, with Denmark winning silver and ROC bronze.
After 120 laps of the gruelling racing at the Izu Velodrome, Great Britain have won the first-ever Olympic madison gold with a total of 78 points. The British team, made up of Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald, dominated their rivals to become Olympic champions, with Denmark 43 points back on 35 and ROC winning bronze with 26 points.
In an eventful race, which involved multiple crashes, Great Britain were in a league of their own, building an unassailable lead in the 30km race before passing through the finish line for an unforgettable victory.
The Danish team were ecstatic with a hard-earned silver, however, it was Great Britain’s legendary cycling duo – this is Kenny’s fifth Olympic gold medal and Archibald’s second – who stormed to victory, making Olympic history in the process.
With her victory today, Kenny became the first British woman to win gold at three different Olympics. Her six total Olympic medals – including the silver she won in the Tokyo 2020 women’s team pursuit – are also the joint-most won by any female British athlete at the Olympic Games, equalling the record set by equestrian rider Charlotte Dujardin.
After the race, Archibald spoke about how the pair’s detailed preparations had set them on their way to gold.
“We were really strict in our approach,” she said. “We’ve been playing around with what we think our game plan will be for this race for a while. Anytime we kind of varied from our skill set, it went wrong.
“We knew that we did not want to be the ones who push the lot, we wanted to be the ones who stopped the lot. So we know that we didn’t want to be the ones to go all out in a sprint, (although) I know it might seem that way.
“When you go that way in the back end (of the race) you can just take advantage of other people’s leg starting to come off. If you stick with that confidence and trust the plan you have finessed over months and months it tends to work – and it has proved to work.”
Kenny, whose son Albie has been watching the Games from home, spoke about how during her pregnancy she doubted whether she would even make it to these Games.
“When I fell pregnant, there was a moment two months into the pregnancy where I woke up and said to Jason (KENNY, her husband), ‘I can’t do this, I’m not going to be able to carry on (with cycling), there’s just no way.’ And here we are.”
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 6, 2021