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Paralympics: Darren rues slow start in his title pursuit
DARREN Kenny believes a freak accident on Thursday cost him his Paralympic individual pursuit title yesterday, admitting setting a new world record en route to bronze was scant consolation.
The 42-year-old Verwood rider, suffered an innocuous-looking crash on his own out of the velodrome on Thursday – having finished fourth in the time trial – but with his knee not feeling 100 per cent 24 hours later, he tried to go easy in the morning’s heats.
It was a risk that Kenny paid for however as he clocked the third-fastest time in qualifying, ensuring the best the six-time Paralympic champion could hope for was bronze.
Kenny, who won four of his Paralympic gold medals at Beijing 2008, showed what he was truly capable of in the bronze medal race, clocking 3:35.257 minutes – 2.66 seconds than the gold medal ride – to set a new world record.
But with just one more opportunity to come, in Sunday’s mixed team sprint, to claim a London 2012 gold medal, Kenny last left to bemoan his tactics in the velodrome.
“I got my tactics wrong in the morning,” said Kenny. “I did what I thought was right, and it turned out that it wasn’t. I obviously got the next ride right, and it’s good to get the world record, but obviously I would rather have done it in the other race.
“Having hurt my knee yesterday, we went a bit softer in the morning ride because I thought that would be the best way to go. It turned out we should have just raced as hard as I possibly could as I did this afternoon.
“It’s just one of those things and it’s obviously nice to win that race and get a medal.”
Kenny took to the boards with the velodrome crowd still in shock after Jody Cundy, a five-time Paralympic champion – twice in cycling and three times in swimming –was controversially disqualified, prompting a raging response from the Brit.
But Kenny was adamant that had no effect on his performance.
He added: “I didn’t see anything of what happened with Jody and so I can’t really say anything about that.
“I was lying on my back having pins put in my legs at the time. I’m not really sure what happened but it didn’t affect me.”
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