Jason Kenny, Great Britain’s most decorated Olympian, retires from cycling

Jason Kenny
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MANCHESTER, England — British cyclist Jason Kenny, the country’s most decorated Olympian, has retired from racing and taken up a role as sprint coach for Britain’s team.

Kenny won seven gold medals — and nine medals in total — across four Olympic Games. No cyclist has won more.

“It’s almost impossible to comprehend the level of talent, dedication and resilience needed to top the podium seven times across four Olympic Games,” said Stephen Park, British Cycling’s performance director.

“I’m thrilled,” Park added, “that we’ve been able to hold on to all of that knowledge and experience as he embarks on his career as a coach.”

With Kenny as coach, Britain’s cycling team will head to the Paris Olympics in 2024 looking to continue its record of finishing on the podium in every men’s sprint event since Beijing in 2008.

Kenny burst onto the international scene by winning three gold medals at the junior world track cycling championship in 2006.

He won his first Olympic gold at Beijing in the team sprint, and was second to compatriot Chris Hoy in the individual sprint, before taking both titles in London in 2012.

Kenny took a clean sweep of team sprint, individual sprint and keirin titles in the Rio Olympics in 2016 to match Hoy’s six Olympic golds.

Then, in Tokyo last year, Kenny took silver in the team sprint and claimed a seventh Olympic gold of his career in the keirin.

He was knighted in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year honors list in December.

Kenny is married to fellow cyclist Laura Kenny, who has won five Olympic gold medals and a silver. That’s the most for a female British Olympian.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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