Commonwealth Games: Dame Laura Kenny wins Team England gold in velodrome in scratch race | Commonwealth Games News

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Dame Laura Kenny won Team England’s first gold medal in the velodrome of this Commonwealth Games; the 30-year-old produced a superb late surge to win the women’s 10km scratch race; Kenny said she’s struggled for motivation and overcame a crisis of confidence to take to the track and race

Last Updated: 01/08/22 9:48pm

Dame Laura Kenny won gold in the women's scratch race at the Lee Valley VeloPark

Dame Laura Kenny won gold in the women’s scratch race at the Lee Valley VeloPark

Dame Laura Kenny won a stunning gold medal in the women’s 10km scratch race at the Commonwealth Games and shared after how she struggled with motivation and confidence.

Kenny showed her experience and physical power to attack the race late and surge away to victory inside the Lee Valley VeloPark on Monday.

The 30-year-old also displayed considerable composure during the race, as it was paused midway through following a crash involving two riders. Upon the restart, Kenny remained focused and executed her own race strategy to perfection.

After receiving her gold medal, Kenny spoke openly about how she could relate to the feelings shared by a fellow sporting trailblazer, Adam Peaty, the day prior.

Peaty came fourth in the 100m breaststroke final on Sunday, having incredibly arrived at Birmingham having recovered after breaking his foot just 10 weeks ago.

The swimmer’s record across that distance was impeccable, the race marked his first loss over the distance in eight years and in a major final.

“It’s incredibly difficult to go five years in an Olympic cycle with the pressure of being Olympic champion and a world-record holder, having a baby, moving house and doing all these things,” he said to the BBC.

“They’re not normal things and it’s not normal for the brain to be going 24/7, 365. Because that’s what it is and more.

Adam Peaty has made a remarkable recovery to just take part in the Commonwealth Games

Adam Peaty has made a remarkable recovery to just take part in the Commonwealth Games

“I just go out there, do what I can do every single day and train as hard as I can, but something’s gone missing. This last two years, I just haven’t felt the spark in it. I think sometimes you can get burnout from the sport that you do love.

“And, it like… okay how do we find out spark again for the next two years into Paris, and then if we go beyond that, we go beyond that. If we don’t, happy days.”

Kenny has also been through adversity of her own over the past year, after sharing that she suffered an ectopic pregnancy in January and as a result, nearly decided to walk away from the sport.

“I can’t believe it honestly, I said to Jase [Jason Kenny] ‘I think this is going to be my last race’,” Kenny told the BBC after winning gold in the scratch race.

“I watched Adam Peaty and completely reflect on his interview and I thought that is me all over. I’ve lost the spark; training doesn’t come that easy. Every day I’m like, ‘Here we go again’.

“I’ve been there three Olympic cycles now, to keep picking yourself up after this whole year it has been a nightmare. I have absolutely just lost motivation.

“Then last night I was messaging my new coach Len and I was like ‘No, I’m not giving up, I have one more roll of the dice, please just help me. It could not have been better set up if I tried.”

Kenny has spoken about the challenges she's faced personally this year ahead of returning to the track for the Commonwealths

Kenny has spoken about the challenges she’s faced personally this year ahead of returning to the track for the Commonwealths

Kenny made her move with a late burst of speed, having seen the race play out just as she wanted it to after a crash caused it to happen in two sections and one rider be taken from the track on a stretcher.

The crash in the women’s race has not been the only one of this Commonwealth Games, sadly the significant crashes involving riders have been shocking and Kenny shared how they impacted her.

“Sunday left a pretty bad taste to be honest. I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. You see Matt Walls crash like that and it really makes you think: ‘What am I doing?’ I have been so lucky; in my whole career I have had one broken shoulder and one broken arm.

“You see something like that… I was having a serious confidence crisis,” Kenny continued. “I just didn’t want to be on the track and when I feel like that, I race badly.

“Whereas today I was so fired up. I kept saying to myself in the toilet, ‘I can do this’.

“Some man on the start line said, ‘You’ve got this Laura’ and I felt like turning round to him and saying ‘Yes I have’. I was like a completely different bike rider.”



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