Britain's Laura Kenny has only slim chance of racing at Paris Olympics


Britain's Laura Kenny has only slim chance of racing at Paris Olympics

Laura Kenny won gold at the delayed Tokyo Games in 2021
Laura Kenny won gold at the delayed Tokyo Games in 2021Reuters
Five-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny's (31) chances of being able to compete in the Paris Games this year are fading, according to British Cycling's Performance Director Stephen Park.

The Brit suffered a miscarriage in 2021, needed surgery following an ectopic pregnancy in 2022 and then gave birth to her second child last year.

She has stated her ambition to ride in Paris but has not raced since the 2022 Commonwealth Games and her window of opportunity is closing. The 2024 Olympics will be held from July 26 until August 11.

"She has a slim chance of being in Paris," Park told reporters at a briefing in Manchester.

"The situation with Laura is no different to the run-in to Glasgow (2023 world championships), which is the first challenge is for her to be in a position where she feels she is going to be competitive and therefore put her hand up to be selected for events that will allow her to get the UCI points she needs to qualify.

"Then she has to qualify for the team by being competitive in a team that is more competitive than it's ever been.

"Both of those are fairly significant hurdles."

Kenny, who is married to British sprint great Jason Kenny, would have to compete at the Nations Cup event in Milton, Canada next month to have any chance of gaining the required UCI points that would keep her in the frame for selection.

She is currently not training with the rest of the British team but following her own programme.

"We have ongoing and continual dialogue with Laura and we are supporting her in terms of her return to training and she is still optimistic about the world championships (in Denmark in October)," Park said.

"But the time is approaching where she is going to have to be pretty clear about whether she wants it (Olympics) or she will miss the opportunity. Nobody knows better than Laura about what you need to do to win a medal in women's track.

"I've got no doubt if she felt she was physically and mentally in the right place to make up ground, she would do."

Kenny was the dominant force in women's track endurance racing with team pursuit and omnium golds at London 2012 and Rio 2016. She also claimed a memorable gold at the delayed Tokyo Games in 2021 in the madison alongside Katie Archibald.

She is also a seven-time world champion and 14-time European champion. One glimmer of hope could be that the sport's governing body the UCI allow her some slack.

"She would need to go to Milton unless the UCI made some exemption, which there is the potential for as they seem to be keen to make exceptions for people," Park added.


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