• London Olympics 2012

Hoy won't feel sorry for himself if Kenny lands 2012 spot

ESPN staff
June 21, 2012
Sir Chirs Hoy and Jason Kenny are fighting it out ahead of the Olympics © Getty Images

Sir Chris Hoy says he will not sulk if he misses out on the chance to defend all three of his Olympic gold medals at London 2012, insisting there will be "no knock-on effect" should he be overlooked for the individual sprint.

Hoy, who at the Beijing Games in 2008 claimed glory in the team sprint, keirin and individual sprint, is battling it out with Jason Kenny for the right to represent Great Britain as the sole individual track sprinter.

Kenny, 12 years Hoy's junior, says there is "nothing between" the pair, while GB performance director Dave Brailsford has warned the rivals he will be "compassionately ruthless" with his selection.

Kenny took second place behind Hoy four years ago, before the rule change of one competitor per country per event was introduced, and he beat the four-time Olympic champion 2-0 in the semi-finals at the World Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne two months ago.

If it is Hoy who is overlooked, he says his personal disappointment will not get in the way of team success this summer.

"I wouldn't sulk because I'd still have two more events to do, which is two more than a lot of people," he told the Daily Mirror. "Of course I would love to be able to defend all three titles, but there will be no knock-on effect if I'm not the one who's picked for the sprint.

"I will remain 100 per cent focused and for whoever misses out, in many ways it will be tough but in some ways it will be great because we all push each other as a team. You know that, if you're not the one who gets picked, the other guy must be going pretty well and that augurs well for the team sprint.

"But we're not the only cycling nation affected by the new rule - it will hit the French, the Germans and Aussies as well. It means the competition at the world championships in April was the best you will ever see and the Olympic field will be weaker. It's a shame an Olympic event will miss out on a clutch of top-level athletes."

Brailsford has hinted a decision will be made after next month's training camp at Newport, and Hoy says he is pushing his body to the limit in order to get the nod.

"The numbers are encouraging. We did a pretty grim session on Tuesday, which was incredibly painful, but the results set a new standard for the discipline. People think the fitter you get the easier it gets, but the harder you push yourself, the more it hurts.

"Throwing up into a bucket is a strange measurement of performance, but that's the way it's got to be."

Kenny, meanwhile, admits Brailsford has a difficult decision to make. He said: "There is nothing between us and that's the cruellest part. It's going back and forth between us in training, but at least that raises the overall standard.

"It never really dawned on me I could be competing with Chris for one place in the Olympic squad until I found myself riding against him in Melbourne. It's a shame there won't be room for both of us, but rules are rules. If Chris gets the gig, I'll be backing him all the way. And it's better to see your team-mate win than someone else."

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