LONDON - Sir Chris Hoy ended his stunning Olympic career Tuesday by defending his Beijing keirin crown to claim a sixth Games gold and become Britain’s most successful Olympian.
Germany’s Maximilian Levy finished second to take the silver with New Zealand’s Simon Van Velthooven and Dutchman Teun Mulder sharing the bronze after a long wait for a photo finish decision.
Hoy won three Olympic gold medals in the sprint, keirin and team sprint four years ago to add to his kilometre time trial crown from Athens in 2004.
And despite being unable to defend his sprint title after being ousted by Jason Kenny for Britain’s sole spot in the event, Hoy struck gold twice in his two London events of the team sprint and keirin.
The 36-year-old Scot’s sixth gold means that on the count of gold medals alone, he overtakes Sir Steve Redgrave’s tally of five gold medals, all of which were won in consecutive Games.
“I’m in shock, you try and compose yourself but it’s surreal. I wanted to win gold in front of my home crowd. I saw everyone stepping up to the plate and thankfully it worked out for me too,” said Hoy.
Having coasted through the first and second rounds of the keirin earlier in the day, Hoy proved imperious once he got to the final.
After the motor-paced derny left the track with two and a half of the eight laps to go, Hoy was quick to counter a move on the outside by Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang.
When Levy then pulled to the front, Hoy kept the German in his sights before rounding the final bend with a lead over the five other finalists that they failed to haul back in a frantic drive for the line.
While Levy finished second to add silver to his bronze medal from the team sprint, it took several minutes for the judges to make a decision on the bronze.
Unable to, they decided Mulder and Van Velthooven should share the bronze.