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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Hoy sets British record with 6th Olympic gold

Hoy sets British record with 6th Olympic gold

August 08, 2012 01:10 IST

Chris Hoy set a British record with his sixth Olympic gold medal Tuesday, defending his keirin title to finish off a dominating track cycling program for the home nation.

Britain won seven of the 10 gold medals awarded at the London Velodrome to match its haul from the Beijing Games. It also won a silver and a bronze to finish with nine medals overall.

Hoy was briefly overtaken by Maximilian Levy on the final lap of the eight-lap keirin, but pulled even with his German rival on the final corner and out-sprinted him to the finish line.

Levy settled for the silver medal, and Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand and Teun Mulder of the Netherlands were both awarded bronze when a photo finish could not decide third place.

Hoy's six gold medals broke a tie with rower Steve Redgrave and made Hoy the first rider to defend a keirin Olympic title. The Flying Scotsman also matched fellow British cyclist and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins with seven overall medals, also a record for Britain.

Chris HoyThe 36-year-old Hoy wasted no time waking up the velodrome crowd on Tuesday.

Put in the first race of the day, Hoy opened the keirin competition by going straight to the front in his first-round match with two laps still to go. Van Velthooven was able to stay with him, but the New Zealand rider didn't stand a chance of overtaking Hoy by the finish line.

Levy also won his race, followed closely by Mulder — a signal that both were on form.

After repechages allowed six more riders to advance, Hoy used the same tactic as the first round to win his semifinal race. He went clear of the field at the start line and held them off for two full laps to set up his chance for gold.

The motorized derny, which sets the pace for the first 5 1/2 laps, came around to start the final, and Levy slotted in right behind. Shane Perkins of Australia was second, and Hoy appeared content to ride around in third.

When the derney exited on the back stretch, the race was on.

Hoy moved up along the outside of Levy and barreled into the lead on the front stretch, just as he did every round to reach the final. Levy charged back to pass him on the front stretch entering the final lap, and the two were side-by-side heading into the final corner.

Hoy pounded down on his pedals, gritting his teeth as he tore over the final 40 meters to finish just ahead of Levy, with van Velthooven and Mulder right on their wheels.

Hoy did a victory lap before stopping on the front stretch, where he handed his bike over to his coaches and then pumped his fist while waving the British flag.

His gold medal was the second of the day for Britain after Laura Trott's victory in the multi-event women's omnium. It was also the third overall after Victoria Pendleton took silver behind her rival Anna Meares of Australia in the women's sprint.

Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP 

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