Minsk: Britain’s Olympic sprint champion Jason Kenny won the keirin gold medal at the world track cycling championships on Friday, a victory which sent girlfriend Laura Trott, also a title winner, into a Twitter frenzy.
Kenny beat German favourite Maximilian Levy, the 2009 world champion who had lost out to another British rider, double Olympic champion Chris Hoy, last year. Dutch rider Matthijs Buchli claimed bronze.
Trott, Kenny’s girlfriend and a gold medallist in the women’s team pursuit on Thursday, praised her man on Twitter.
“Arghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!! Happiest girlfriend in the world!!!! @JasonKenny107 #lovehim x,” she tweeted.
Kenny, 24, who delivered Britain’s third gold of the championships, had reached the final the hard way, needing to go through the repechage in the first round before earning a place in the final, when France’s Frangois Pervis was disqualified for blocking the Briton.
“It was unbelievable,” Kenny told the BBC. “I put my hopes on Levy, saying I would stick to him and try and pass at the finish, which is how it worked out.
“I was suffering a crisis of confidence after coming sixth in the team pursuit. But a bit of luck finally went my way and the final unfolded perfectly.”
Simon Yates had opened Britain’s Friday gold account when he clinched victory in the men’s points race, beating Spain’s Eloy Teruel by a point.
The 20-year-old Briton had been a point behind the Spaniard before the final sprint, but a third-place finish in the deciding showdown steered him to gold. Bronze went to Russia’s Kiril Sveshnikov, who was second in the last sprint.
Yates succeeds Australia’s Cameron Meyer, who won the title in 2009, 2010 and 2012 as world champion.
“I just tried to save some energy for the end and [I started to believe] with 10 laps to go when I realised I needed just one point,” Yates told the BBC. “When you’ve got a world title on the line you get that energy from somewhere.”
In the day’s other final, Katarzyna Pawlowska of Poland retained her women’s scratch title. The 23-year-old finished comfortably ahead of Sofia Arreola of Mexico after 40 laps (10 kilometres) of the Minsk Arena.
Yevgenya Romanyuta of Russia took the bronze, ahead of Laurie Berthon of France, who lost out on a medal in the sprint to the line.
Pacesetter Caroline Ryan of Ireland was holding on until 12 laps from the end, when the defending champion made her move. But if Ryan’s compatriot Martyn Irvine was able to hold on for gold after adopting a similar tactic in Thursday’s men’s scratch race, Ryan was out of luck.
Pawlowska bided her time and then broke clear two laps out as an exhausted Ryan slipped back down the field to finish seventh.
Giorgia Bronzini of Italy, road racing champion in 2010 and 2011, was a disappointing 11th.