LONDON – Britain’s Jason Kenny added individual sprint gold to his Olympic team title with a thrilling victory over world champion Gregory Bauge in the final today.
Kenny surged past his French opponent to take the first race and sealed his win by holding him off in the second.
The 24-year-old is GB’s first double gold medallist of the Games and takes the haul in the velodrome to five golds and a bronze from seven events.
Australia’s Shane Perkins beat Njisane Nicholas Phillip of Trinidad to bronze.
Kenny took silver behind Sir Chris Hoy in this event at Beijing in 2008 and was preferred to Hoy under the one-rider-per-nation rule introduced for the 2012 Games.
Bolton-born Kenny lost 2-0 to Bauge at the World Championships in Melbourne in April, but hopes were high he could reverse that result after he recorded the fastest time in Saturday’s qualifier.
He also had the benefit of already having a gold medal in the bag after teaming up with Hoy and Philip Hindes for Britain’s first triumph on the track, beating a France trio led by Bauge in the team sprint final on Thursday.
Bauge, renowned for as being as strategically strong as he is physically powerful, has won the last five world titles, but lost his 2011 crown to Kenny after being given a back-dated suspension for doping offences.
In their first individual cat-and-mouse encounter, Kenny came from a long way back on the final lap to overtake Bauge on the outside and pip him to the line.
The second race saw Kenny at the front with Bauge attempting to reel him in but, with the crowd roaring him on, Kenny was able to stay clear to clinch a famous triumph.
Three more of his track team-mates could claim their second gold medals of the Games tomorrow, the final evening of competition in the velodrome.