Olympics 2012: Sir Chris Hoy Wins Men's Keirin to Become GB's Greatest Olympian

Matthew Ireland@@MIrelandSJContributor IIAugust 8, 2012

Sir Chris Hoy celebrates his sixth Olympic gold medal after winning the men's keirin.
Sir Chris Hoy celebrates his sixth Olympic gold medal after winning the men's keirin.Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Sir Chris Hoy became Great Britain's greatest Olympian in history with a memorable victory in the men's keirin at the Olympic Velodrome.

The Scot's victory, in what is almost certain to be his Olympic swansong, is his sixth Olympic gold in all—one more than legendary rower Sir Steve Redgrave.

With an added silver from the 2000 games in Sydney, he is also tied with fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins with a record seven medals in all.

In his favored event, Hoy took up the running with two laps to go—looking to drain the energy out of his opponents and make his endurance count.

Leading into the final 200 meters, Hoy was briefly headed by German Maximilian Levy rounding the home bend.  But the 36-year-old, who will undoubtedly go down as track cycling's greatest-ever sprinter, was not to be denied a fitting finale—powering back to send a partisan crowd delirious.

Levy held on for second and a silver medal, with both Teun Mulder and Simon van Velthooven claiming a bronze medal after dead-heating for third.

Speaking to BBC Sport on his keirin victory, Hoy said:

"I'm in shock. You try to 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."

Come 2016, the Scot will have turned 40, and while he admitted Rio may be a bridge too far, he did tell Sky Sports the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow may be on the agenda. He said:

"I'm 99.9% sure I won't be competing there in Rio. How can you top this? This is phenomenal. The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow? That's another question. If I can keep going to Glasgow that would be a dream ending for me but when you get to my age you can't look too far ahead, you have to focus on the here and now."

Alongside Hoy's victory, it was another golden day for Team GB's track cyclists. Laura Trott won her second gold of the Games with victory in the women's omnium in dramatic fashion.

Unfortunately for Victoria Pendleton, she was unable to bring the curtain down on her career with gold—losing to arch-rival Anna Meares in the women's sprint—in her final race before retirement.