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King Kenny justifies his pick ahead of ace Hoy.

GREAT Britain's Jason Kenny won a stunning Olympic gold in the men's sprint at the London 2012 velodrome, fully justifying his selection ahead of 2008 champion Sir Chris Hoy with his third Games gold.

Kenny's previous two Olympic gold medals came in the team sprint alongside Hoy, but now the 24-year-old from Bolton is an Olympic individual champion after a sensational 2-0 final victory over three-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France.

The Briton qualified quickest for the three-day competition on Saturday and outpaced Bauge in the first of their best-of-three contest.

Kenny then led out the Frenchman and just had too much speed for his opponent to send the velodrome into raptures. It was Britain's fifth gold from seven medal events, with the potential for further success on today's final day of racing.

Australia's Shane Perkins claimed bronze with a 2-0 defeat of Trinidad's Njisane Nicholas Phillip.

The one rider per nation rule introduced by the International Cycling Union and International Olympic Committee weakened the field and saw Kenny selected ahead of Hoy.

But a Kenny versus Bauge final was befitting of the blue riband event. Kenny finished second to Hoy in Beijing and to Bauge at April's Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.

The Briton was awarded the 2011 world title after Bauge was stripped of the rainbow jersey for an anti-doping infringement.

Both men made serene progress to the final, with Kenny beating Phillip 2-0 in his best-of-three semi-final and Bauge seeing off Perkins in the other last-four tie.

Bauge was drawn on the inside for the first final contest, which meant he had to go in front of Kenny, turning to watch his opponent.

Kenny weaved up and down the banking to tease Bauge and then used the slope to his advantage to speed past his rival and win by a wheel's length and go 1-0 up.

The draw then put Kenny in front, but the Briton was unflustered and had too much speed for his opponent as he powered to a supreme victory.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 7, 2012
Words:338
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