EXCLUSIVE: Sir Jason Kenny – Britain’s most decorated Olympian with SEVEN gold medals – is set to retire from cycling and become men’s podium sprint coach for Team GB
- Olympic legend Sir Jason Kenny is set to take his first step into coaching
- The 33-year-old is to become the men’s podium sprint coach at British Cycling
- Riders are understood to have been told of Kenny’s appointment last week
Sir Jason Kenny is set to call time on his glittering career after being offered a coaching job by British Cycling.
Sportsmail understands Britain’s greatest Olympian is to become the new men’s podium sprint coach and work with Team GB cyclists at Paris 2024 rather than compete there himself.
Kenny’s future has been up in the air since he won a record seventh Olympic gold medal at last summer’s Tokyo Games, which led to him receiving a knighthood in the New Year’s honours list.
Sir Jason Kenny has been presented with the opportunity to take his first step into coaching
In an interview with Sportsmail before Christmas, the 33-year-old revealed he had ticked a box on a British Cycling form outlining his intention to carry on to Paris but said he had still made no firm decision.
However, Kenny now appears to have made his mind up after being presented with the opportunity to take his first step into coaching.
British Cycling advertised for two new sprint coaches last month – ironically using a picture of Kenny when promoting the vacancies on LinkedIn – and interviews have taken place over the last few weeks.
It is understood riders were told of Kenny’s appointment last week. Australian Kaarle McCulloch, the London 2012 team sprint silver medallist who retired in November, has been offered the women’s sprint job. They will both report to British Cycling head coach Jon Norfolk.
Kenny’s future has been up in the air since he won a record seventh Olympic gold medal
News of Kenny’s imminent move into coaching will bring down the curtain on an Olympic career which broke all records for a British athlete.
By winning seven golds, he surpassed six-time champion Sir Chris Hoy as Team GB’s most successful Olympian. With nine medals overall, he is also Britain’s most decorated athlete, bettering Sir Bradley Wiggins’ haul of eight.
Kenny’s last act on the track was his astonishing victory in the keirin final at the Tokyo Games last August, when he audaciously broke away with three laps to go and managed to hold on for an historic win. He also won a silver in the team sprint.
The Bolton rider’s first Olympic gold medal came in the team sprint at Beijing 2008. He then won two at London 2012 before claiming three – in the team sprint, sprint and keirin – at Rio 2016.
Speaking about his future to Sportsmail in December, Kenny said: ‘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.
Kenny’s wife Laura is Britain’s most successful female Olympian with five golds
‘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. Touch wood, I’m still in our fastest team, but that might change.
‘I’m starting to build up training, starting to build up back in the gym, trying to build a bit of momentum. My goal is to be in the place where we can start training full time by January.
‘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, Albie, with wife Laura, who is expected to compete at Paris 2024. She is Britain’s most successful female Olympian with five golds and one silver and was made a dame in the New Year.