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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 September, 2004, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Kenny hails Hoy inspiration
By Elizabeth Hudson
BBC Sport in Athens

Britain's Darren Kenny wipes away a tear after receiving his cycling gold medal
Paralympic gold medallist Darren Kenny paid tribute to Olympic hero Chris Hoy after his victory in the 1km open time trial in the velodrome on Saturday.

"I watched Chris' race with my six-year-old son Brandon," said Kenny. "Then I realised I would be in Athens myself in a few weeks time.

"I train with Chris once a month in Manchester and working with him has really spurred me on.

"Winning gold feels fantastic and after all the hard work it is all worth it."

Kenny, who suffers from cerebral palsy, came to Athens with a big reputation after European success over the past couple of years.

But the man from Bournemouth put in a superb ride to win in a new world record time of one minute 08.196, ahead of Australia's Andrew Panozzolo and Jiri Bouska of the Czech Republic.

I knew what times I could do but I was scared of letting people down by not performing
Cycling gold medallist
Darren Kenny
However, Kenny, who was cheered on by a large GB contingent, knew there was a lot resting on his shoulders after Aileen McGlynn and Ellen Hunter won GB's first ever Paralympic cycling gold a couple of hours earlier.

"We have a superb team behind us who have believed in us and this medal is the reward for a great team effort and it is nice to pay them back," added Kenny.

"I knew what times I could do but I was scared of letting people down by not performing.

Now I feel like I am walking on the clouds and I am certainly much better than I felt this morning."

A clearly emotional Kenny had the honour of getting his medal from International Olympic Committee president and International Paralympic Committee chief Phil Craven and wiped back the tears as the national anthem rang out around the Velodrome.

British Paralympic Association Chef de Mission Phil Lane watched Kenny's tremendous success and was full of praise for the cycling squad.

"We had certainly anticipated getting medals from cycling," said Lane.

"We were hopeful of Darren being successful and with Aileen, we knew the talent was there but to win the way they did was fantastic.

"Cycling is a very professional organisation and I think this augurs well for the rest of the Games."

Paralympic Games 2004



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