Cycling-British great Laura Kenny sets sights on Paris

  • Cycling
  • Monday, 27 Nov 2023

Commonwealth Games - Cycling - Women's 10km Scratch Race - Medal Ceremony - Lee Valley VeloPark, London, Britain - August 1, 2022 Gold medallist England's Laura Kenny celebrates on the podium after winning the women's 10km scratch race REUTERS/John Sibley/ File photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Track cyclist Laura Kenny, Britain's most successful female Olympian, has set her sights on making the team for the Paris Games despite barely having competed in the past two years.

Kenny gave birth to her second child in July after suffering a miscarriage in November 2021 and then having surgery following an ectopic pregnancy.

Time is ticking for the 31-year-old to force her way back into the British team, but five-time Olympic gold medal winner Kenny says she is determined to give it a go.

"I obviously want to compete at the next Olympics. I know everyone thinks I'm absolutely mad in saying that, but if I don't try, I'll never know," Kenny told The Journey, the Team GB docuseries.

"I would hate to be sat here thinking, 'Well, I never even gave it a go to see if I could make it.'"

Kenny, who is married to now-retired track cyclist Jason Kenny, Britain's most-decorated Olympian with seven golds, competed at the London, Rio and Tokyo Games and was dominant force in the endurance disciplines.

She competed at last year's Commonwealth Games, winning the scratch race, but thought that would be her final event.

Kenny gave birth to her first son Albie in 2017 and Monty was born in July this year.

"I hope both children see their mum as someone who was determined to make both things work. They will never have the burden of thinking, 'Oh, mum had me and then ended her career.'" she said. "Because I didn't. I carried on; I made it work.

"I hope they look back and they can see that, and see that from the day they were born, they were part of the journey."

Kenny admits that she has been through tough times since the Tokyo Olympics where she won the Madison gold medal alongside Katie Archibald but says the birth of her second son and her love of cycling had motivated her to continue.

"With Albie I came back feeling like I had a point to prove, that you could be a mum and be an Olympic champion all at the same time," she said. "I think this time, I've come back for me. I've come back because I love riding my bike and I cannot imagine it not being part of my life."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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