On this day in 2012: Olympic gold for Sir Chris Hoy and Team GB in London

The home team recovered from an early crash for Philip Hindes in their heat to beat France in the final in a world-record time.

By Press Association Published: 2 August 2022 - 5.00am

Sir Chris Hoy survived a fright before claiming a fifth Olympic gold medal on this day in 2012.

Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny won the three-man, three-lap team sprint in London in a world record of 42.60 seconds, beating France in a repeat of the final four years earlier in Beijing.

Hindes picked himself up off the track after a poor start in qualifying to help propel Britain to two world records and Olympic gold.

Chris Hoy
Sir Chris Hoy, left, rides past Philip Hindes who fell during qualifying for the team sprint (John Giles/PA)

In an eventful start to his Olympic career, the specialist starter wobbled out of the start gate and lost control of his bike before tumbling to the track at the beginning of the first bend as his team-mates rolled past him and officials restarted the heat.

The 19-year-old German-born rider with a British father, who joined British Cycling’s academy in October 2010, said: “We were saying if we have a bad start we need to crash to get a restart.

“I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart, just to have the fastest ride. I did it. So it was all planned, really.”

British Cycling suggested Hindes’ comments were “lost in translation” from a man who began learning English only after moving to Manchester to train at the velodrome, while the International Cycling Union confirmed the result was not in question, with Britain taking gold ahead of France and Germany bronze.

There was no rule to govern the incident and no appeal was possible, with France accepting the final outcome.

Chris Hoy
Sir Chris Hoy, right, with team-mates Jason Kenny, centre, and Philip Hindes are awarded their gold medals (Owen Humphreys/PA)

For Hoy his fifth Olympic title, in front of a partisan crowd including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron, was emotional and his best.

The 36-year-old from Edinburgh said: “When I crossed the line, I didn’t have to look at the scoreboard, I knew we’d won when I heard the roar.

“I thought my first win in Athens was the most memorable for me, but this by far is my greatest win. It’s an incredible feeling.”

The keirin five days later brought Hoy a sixth and final Olympic gold, a British record until Kenny won his seventh at Tokyo 2020.

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