On this day in 2022: Sir Jason Kenny calls time on record-breaking racing career

By Sports Desk February 24, 2024

Sir Jason Kenny announced his retirement from a glittering racing career to move into coaching on this day in 2022.

Great Britain’s greatest Olympian with seven gold medals to his name, Kenny admitted to being “a little bit sad” as he called time on a phase of his life which had made him a household name.

The then 33-year-old, who had won a stunning keirin gold in Tokyo during the previous summer to claim a seventh Olympic title 13 years after his first in Beijing, had been planning to keep going until the Paris Games in 2024.

However, he admitted the opportunity to coach the British squad was one he could not pass up.

Kenny said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. I genuinely wanted to carry on to Paris, but I creak quite a lot these days and I always knew I wanted to go into coaching off the back of it, and this opportunity came along.

“I am a little bit sad, to be honest, because all I’ve known is riding and competing, but I’m quite excited to get stuck into the job.”

Kenny replaced Scott Pollock, who had served as sprint coach in an interim role following the dismissal of Kevin Stewart in November 2020.

He had retired once before, silently stepping away after winning team sprint, individual sprint and keirin gold at the 2016 Rio Games, without announcing his decision until he reversed it a year later.

Kenny said: “Last time, I didn’t realise it, but I was just cooked. I’d never really taken a break [in 10 years], so I just stepped away. Because I never planned on coming back, I completely switched off and got that re-fresh.

“In Rio, I was quite happy to see the back of it. But then since coming back and being refreshed, it’s a lot harder to walk away.”

Kenny was knighted in the 2022 New Year Honours List, while his wife and fellow cyclist Laura – formerly Trott – received a damehood after establishing herself as Britain’s most decorated female Olympian with five golds.

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