Evening Express

Katie Archibald sets sights on three Olympic gold medals at Tokyo 2020

Katie Archibald has served notice on Laura Kenny and the world by plotting an ambitious bid for three Olympic gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Kenny is Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian with four gold medals after winning team pursuit and omnium titles at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Katie Archibald, right, won Olympic team pursuit gold at Rio 2016 with, from right to left, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Laura Kenny (David Davies/PA Images)

Archibald won her first Olympic gold in Rio, as part of the team pursuit quartet, and wants the one omnium place for Tokyo, as well as a spot in the two-rider Madison, which is new to the Games programme.

The 24-year-old Milngavie rider told Press Association Sport: “It’s a question I thought was quite simple previously. If somebody says ‘do you want to ride the omnium at the Olympics?’ Of course I’d say ‘I’d do everything to do that’.

“Now the question is ‘do you think one person is capable of winning gold in the omnium, the Madison and the team pursuit?’

“Do I have the ambition to think I could win gold in all three events? I feel certain of that.”

Kenny and Archibald, right, rode together in the Madison at August’s European Championships in Glasgow (John Walton/PA Images)

The British Cycling selectors may decide the schedule of events precludes one rider from attempting to go for three titles; the priority for the British team is a win, no matter the individual.

And Kenny and Elinor Barker will share similar ambitions to Archibald.

Kenny returned from the birth of her first child, son Albie in August 2017, for February’s Track Cycling World Championships to take team pursuit silver and is targeting Tokyo.

Barker, another Rio team pursuit champion, is also battling for selection in the multi-discipline omnium, the format of which has changed since Rio, and the Madison.

When Kenny was pregnant and on maternity leave, Archibald and Barker thrived with the additional race opportunities.

Archibald is motivated by the internal competition with Kenny and Barker (Richard Sellers/PA Images)

Archibald won world omnium, European omnium and individual pursuit titles in 2017 and world Madison and Commonwealth individual pursuit titles in 2018.

Barker triumphed in the world points race and European Madison in 2017 and the Commonwealth points race in 2018.

The internal competition drives the riders on and there is no animosity between the trio.

Archibald said: “It’s a huge advantage that we have over every other nation. To be selected as the omnium rider for our nation, means you’re going to be one of the best in the world.

“That motivates us, helps us improve.”

Archibald has been nominated for the National Lottery’s Athlete of the Year award following her successes in 2018.

“It makes me feel proud, as a representative of British cycling and cycling for the UK,” Archibald added.

“It’s not just about medal count. It’s about the impact we have on our sport nationwide.”

– Katie Archibald is a finalist for Athlete of the Year at this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search to find the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded athletes and projects. Voting is open until September 14 at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk The winner will be announced during The National Lottery Awards 2018, Wednesday, September 26 at 10.45pm on BBC1.