Jason Kenny called Jack Carlin Great Britain’s best chance of a medal in the Olympic men’s sprint as he sounded ready to hand over a second crown.

Kenny, who won Olympic sprint gold in London and Rio, said he had struggled to recover from the exertions of taking silver in Tuesday’s team event, qualifying only eighth fastest in the individual version a day later.

The six-time Olympic champion was pushed all the way to the line by Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia in his first elimination race and then by Yuta Wakimoto of Japan in his second.

And that prompted the 33-year-old to say his younger team-mate, who qualified third fastest, was the one carrying British medal hopes in the event – with the Dutch duo of Jeffrey Hoogland and Harrie Lavreysen presumptive favourites.

“Jack is really strong and is in a really good position,” Kenny said. “He’s definitely our best chance. The Dutch boys are fast, a little bit quicker but Jack’s got the edge in racing. He’s a good racer and if he keeps it together he’s in a really good position…

Knutsford Guardian:

“From my point of view I’ll keep chipping away. I’m playing a bit of a supporting role for the first time. If I can knock some out that’s one place closer to the podium and that’s the way I’m looking at it. Keep hammering away and take as many people as I can.

“I’ve been struggling a bit and struggling with recovering. Obviously, qualifying eighth puts you in the thick of it as well.

“So yes, it just felt like every ride was a final and I rode it like it was as well. I’m over the moon to get through the first day and that’s it really. Job done for today, get fuelled up and hope that tomorrow goes well as well.”