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Last Updated: Friday, 20 August, 2004, 19:39 GMT 20:39 UK
Hoy stands tall under pressure
By Phil Gordos
BBC Sport in Athens

Chris Hoy

Olympic 1km time trial champion Chris Hoy admitted he had struggled to keep his emotions in check as he waited to begin his gold medal-winning ride in Athens.

"I was more nervous than I've ever been in my whole life," said the 28-year-old Scot.

"To see such fast times made it very, very difficult to focus on my own ride, but it was something I had to do."

Hoy had been in the very same position last year as he tried to defend his World Championship crown in Stuttgart.

He eventually finished outside of the medals, unable to handle the pressure and weight of expectation.

But he was determined not to make the same mistake in Athens as he attempted to emulate Jason Queally's brilliant victory in Sydney.

"I have learned from that experience in Stuttgart," said Hoy.

"There's a lot of pressure going off as the last man.

"It's not really an enviable position to be in, but at the end of the day it was about focusing on my own ride and not worrying about what else has happened before me.

"You just have to do your best and if that's good enough you just have to accept that.

"Anyone could have won it on a different night but it's my night tonight."

Looking on as Hoy took gold was Queally. And Hoy was quick to pay tribute to the Sydney hero, whose form had not been good enough to earn him a shot at retaining his title.

"Jason has been an inspiration to me," explained Hoy, whose cycling career began in BMX.

"I watched him win gold in Sydney and it opened my eyes to the fact that we could win gold medals."

Hoy also hailed the British supporters, who had packed into the Athens Velodrome to roar on another Olympic cycling success.

"The crowd were fantastic. Every time I went to the end of each lap, the crowd were behind me and that just pushed me on."

Hoy, from Edinburgh, had been one of Britain's big gold medal hopes going into the Games.

To win the medal after Jason in Sydney is a dream come true for me
Chris Hoy

Best known as the lead-off man in the sprint team that won silver in Sydney, he has become a major player in his own right in the intervening years.

His big breakthrough came in 2002, when he beat Queally to take gold at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

He followed that by celebrating victory at the World Championships in Copenhagen. His form dipped in 2003, losing his world title and taking only bronze at the national championships.

But he has bounced back to his best in 2004, regaining his world crown and now becoming Olympic champion.

"To win the medal after Jason in Sydney is a dream come true for me," said Hoy, who will be out to double his gold tally in Saturday's team sprint.

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