Women's Sport: Laura Kenny chooses World Championships over shoulder surgery

Laura Kenny, the four-time Olympic champion, is going to compete at next week’s Track World Championships, despite being told by a surgeon that she would need an operation on her shoulder.

She broke a bone in her shoulder after crashing in an omnium event at the Track World Cup in Canada in January.  

The 27-year-old, who is Britain’s most successful female Olympian and the most successful female track cyclist in Olympic history thanks to her four gold medals, spoke to BBC Sport and said that a surgeon had told her the Olympics were “pretty much off the cards” because of the operation she needed.

Kenny told the broadcaster she said: “An operation’s not for me, thanks”.

“Did I want an operation to get it fixed, but with a two-week delay in me getting back on the bike, or did I want to just see how it goes?

“I decided to see how it goes and the next day I got back on my bike.”

Kenny says she still wants to compete at the Tokyo Olympics where she would be defending her omnium and team pursuit titles. The madison is also being reintroduced into the Olympic programme adding a potential third event for Kenny.

At the World Championships in Berlin this month she will race in the omnium and the scratch race, sitting out of other events.

She said: “I wanted to put my hand up for all three events in Berlin but I can’t physically do the madison and I can’t do a standing start in the team pursuit.”

“That’s slightly frustrating but I never thought I wouldn’t go to the Worlds and I know a lot of people within British Cycling thought I’d lost the plot.

Her sights are still set on competing in everything at the Olympics: “If I have the form that I had a month ago, I’d like to think I could still get selected for all three events come to Tokyo.”

One of Kenny’s main motivations is her son, Albie: “I haven’t sacrificed all this time with him for no reason, and a part of me was thinking that when I crashed, I haven’t put in all this hard work and had all this time away for no reason, so there was no way I was not going to the Worlds.

“I do it for Albie now. I want him and everyone to be able to see that these little hiccups happen but why should they get in the way?”

Kenny is clearly still committed to her sport. She said: “I know it’s a broken bone, I’m not stupid, but if I can ride I will ride.”

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