Published: 2 August 2012
Report: Eddie Allen
Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Following a sensational gold medal ride in the Team Sprint, Great Britain’s Jason Kenny praised the performance of his 19 year old teammate Philip Hindes, whose blistering 17.2 opening laps paved the way for gold for the Great Britain team sprint squad.
In qualifying Hindes posted a 17.5 opening lap, unpurturbed by an earlier fall due to a mechanical before raising his game in the first round, setting a new PB of 17.265 for the opening 250 metres, a feat that he followed up in the final, outgunning the huge Gregory Bauge of France with a 17.274 to slingshot Great Britain to glory.
Man two Kenny, moved to tears by his second Olympic gold said, “Phil went out of the blocks like an absolute rocket and we were just swinging all over the place trying to keep up with him. It’s unbelievable – he’s gained us half a second in the space of a year and delivered us perfectly.”
Chris Hoy, who became Great Britain's most successful Olympic athlete, pipping the record of Sir Steve Redgrave, was also emotional after the incredible ride in which everything seemed to come together: “It’s quite overwhelming you know. We knew this was possible, this hasn’t come out of the blue. We knew if we put it together, all three of us, the best possible race, on the day, this was possible but it’s easier said than done.
“Usually we get one out of three of us that’s on a really good day but we just timed the taper perfectly, we had an excellent training camp at Newport, we had the full support behind us of the team and we nailed it.”
Hoy went on to reveal that the crammed schedule on the first day was something that gave him cause for concern: “That last ride, I dug deeper there than I’ve ever dug before – I knew the importance of what it was, I didn’t want to let the boys down, they’ve been riding so well today and it’s just immense pride to be able to do it here in the UK.”
Hindes himself said, “It’s unbelieveable I still can’t believe I’m Olympic champion. It’s like a dream come true.”
Kenny wasn’t alone in hailing the 19 year old, drafted into the Team Sprint squad less than a year ago and competing in his first Olympic games. Speaking on the BBC, Chris Boardman said, "What an exciting final and for me it was all about young Philip Hindes. He had to do the ride of his life there, and all three of them are on the form of their life. All the team can be rightly proud of themselves, a fantastic job all round."
Former Great Britain man-one Jamie Staff struggled to find words to express his happiness for the Team Sprint squad, the Beijing man-one capable of a 17.1 opening lap in his day: "I want to cry. It is bloody awesome. They all stepped it up, I'm just so happy."
Hindes, Kenny and Hoy’s performance was the highpoint of a dramatic first day in the London Velodrome, which saw Great Britain’s team pursuit squad smash the world record in qualifying, while Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish had a devastating exit from the Women’s Team Sprint, following disqualification after an illegal change.