Kenny has ‘slim chance’ of competing at Paris 2024

Cycling
Laura KennyGetty Images

Laura Kenny has only a “slim chance” of competing at the Paris Olympics, says British Cycling’s performance director.

Kenny, Britain’s most successful female Olympian, gave birth to her second son Monty in July, but said in November she was targeting a fourth Games in 2024.

The 31-year-old has not yet returned to team training.

April’s Track Nations Cup in Canada is her last opportunity to earn the UCI points she needs to make the Olympics, which run from 26 July-11 August.

“She has a slim chance of being in Paris,” said Stephen Park.

“The first challenge is for her to be in a position where she feels that she is going to be competitive, and therefore put herself and if you like put her hand up to be selected for events that will allow her to qualify herself as well as qualify in the team.

“Both of those are fairly significant hurdles because you need to be able to get to the right events on an individual level to qualify, and secondly she’s got to be competitive in a team that’s more competitive than it’s ever been.”

Kenny has five Olympic gold medals and one silver to her name, winning madison gold and team pursuit silver in Tokyo in 2021 having welcomed her eldest son Albie four years earlier.

She is following an individual training programme and Park said she is “optimistic” about competing at the World Championships in October.

“The time is approaching fairly quickly where she’s going to have to be pretty clear as to whether she wants [the Olympics], otherwise she’ll perhaps miss the opportunity,” said Park, who believes Kenny will have “an ongoing involvement” with the GB cycling team “for years to come”, on and off the track.

“The first big piece is about her having the confidence, nobody knows better than Laura about what you need to do to win a medal in women’s track.

“I’ve got no doubt that if she decided that she was going to absolutely put her mind to it and felt that she was physically and mentally in the right place, she would do.”

He added: “[While] she’s getting herself back into that place, she doesn’t want to be in the situation where she is affecting the training of the others as well, she’s really conscious of the progress they’re making too.”

Jason Kenny ‘making great progress’ as a coach

Jason Kenny coaching Joe Truman

SWpix.com

One member of the Kenny family definitely will be in Paris, however, with Jason Kenny now working as a coach for British Cycling.

The 35-year-old, who with seven golds and two silvers is the most decorated cyclist in Olympic history, retired in 2022 to join the coaching set-up, working predominantly with the men’s sprint team.

“Jason’s making some great progress as a coach,” said Park. “We’ve supported him in that transition from athlete to coach and there’s no doubt in my mind that what he offers today as a coach is significantly greater than he offered when he first took up the role.

“He comes with huge credibility, an understanding of how to deal with the pressure and he’s tactically better than anyone else in the business.

“In terms of being able to give the riders confidence, there’s no better man for the job.”

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