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Sir Jason Kenny retires from track cycling — Britain's most decorated Olympian set for British Cycling coaching role

Jason Kenny won his seventh Olympic gold medal at last summer's Tokyo Games...

Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Jason Kenny has announced his retirement from track cycling, six months after winning his seventh gold medal.

The 33-year-old is calling time on a glittering career that began with gold in the team sprint at the Beijing Games in 2008, and finished with keirin gold and team sprint silver in Tokyo.

In total, Kenny won seven Olympic golds, two silver medals, two UCI Track Cycling World Championship rainbow jerseys and eight national titles.

> Jason Kenny wins historic seventh Olympic gold medal in Tokyo

News of the track sprinter's retirement was reported by the Daily Mail, who say Kenny will take on a coaching role within British Cycling as men's podium sprint coach.

Kenny received a knighthood in the New Year's honours list, with reports at the time claiming he was considering continuing until Paris 2024.

In an interview before Christmas he said he had ticked a box confirming his intention to compete in Paris, but was unsure if he would follow through with the plan.

It is understood British Cycling riders were told of Kenny's appointment to the coaching staff last week, after adverts for two new sprint coaches, ironically using a picture of the star rider, were spotted on LinkedIn last month.

Australian Kaarle McCulloch, the London 2012 team sprint silver medallist who retired in November, has been offered the women's sprint role.

Kenny retires as Britain's most decorated Olympian, surpassing six-time gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy's tally. 

The nine-medal total also beat Sir Bradley Wiggins' eight Olympic medals record.

Kenny's final gold was won is stunning fashion, as he sprinted clear of the keirin field with three laps to go, holding off the chasing riders to win by 0.763 seconds ahead of Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia and Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen.

Kenny said when he saw he had a gap on the rest of the riders he thought, 'oh sod it. It’s now or never.'

Former teammate Hoy called the win "the most incredible keirin I have ever seen, won by Britain's most successful Olympian ever".

Afterwards, Kenny said: "I’ve just been racing every race like it's my last."

Ultimately, it was his last, even if he flirted with the idea of continuing until the Paris Games in 2024.

Before Christmas, Kenny explained his dilemma: "We have to fill a form in with British Cycling and they ask you at the end of October if you are going to commit for a cycle to Paris.

"They ask, 'Is your intention to try and go to it?'. I was like 'Yeah, I will… for now'. That's the most commitment you get out of me. I want to lay the foundations now so I've got a choice.

"It just depends what we do family wise but I love track cycling, I realised that stepping away after Rio. It was quite hard to leave it completely behind."

Kenny has a four-year-old son with his wife Laura, who won her fifth Olympic gold in Tokyo and is expected to carry on to Paris.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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