LONDON — Sir Chris Hoy became the first ever Briton to win six Olympic gold medals when he muscled his way to victory in the men's keirin yesterday, a dramatic finale to the track events. The 36-year-old held off the sprint of Germany's Maximilian Levy to take his second gold of the Games, with Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand winning the bronze.
Hoy received a huge ovation from the 6,000 fans crammed into the velodrome after his victory — Britain's seventh in the 10 track races — taking him past Sir Steve Redgrave and Bradley Wiggins on to a record six gold. "I'm in shock," said Hoy, who was in tears as he accepted his gold medal.
Hoy had cruised into the final but looked in danger as Levy tried to round him on the final bend. But the Scot's famous strength helped him wrestle back the lead and clinch a dramatic victory.
The win was the perfect end to a near-perfect competition for Britain and also lifted the crowd after Australia's Anna Meares had denied Victoria Pendleton a fairytale ending to her career with victory in the women's sprint.
Meares gained revenge for her defeat by Pendleton in Beijing four years ago, winning the final 2-0 after Pendleton had won the first race only to be disqualified for riding out of the sprinter's lane.
"I'm just so relieved and I'm overwhelmed with emotion," Pendleton said. "I would have loved to have won on my final race. I'm glad that it's all done and I can move on.
Earlier Laura Trott produced a stunning finish to edge out American Sarah Hammer for gold in the women's omnium, a six-event competition. The win was the 20-year-old's second gold of the Games after she was part of the victorious women's team pursuit trio. "I can't believe this has happened to me," she said. "I came into today not feeling as good as yesterday and to finish off with that last 500m is unbelievable.” Australia's Annette Edmondson clinched the bronze medal. — DPA