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Kenny pips Hoy but loses world sprint final

ESPN staff
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Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny are battling to represent Great Britain at London 2012 © Getty Images
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Sir Chris Hoy's dream of defending his Olympic gold medal in the men's individual sprint is slipping away after he was beaten by Jason Kenny in Saturday's semi-final at the Track World Championships in Melbourne.

Kenny later settled for silver in the final after being beaten 2-0 by Frenchman Gregory Bauge, but the significant race - in the context of the summer Olympics - had already been won by the Bolton rider.

Hoy, who won three gold medals in Beijing four years ago, is battling with compatriot Kenny for the one British squad place available for the men's sprint at London 2012. Both men, prior to this weekend's tussle, acknowledged that the result in Melbourne would likely determine who gets picked by the selectors.

If that proves to be the case, Kenny will by Team GB's sole representative in the men's sprint after he powered to a 2-0 victory in the semi-finals. Hoy was edged out by a tyre's width in the first battle of Saturday's best-of-three encounter, and he then attempted to set the tone in the second, only for the younger Kenny to fly past his rival.

It was hardly a surprise after Hoy had struggled through his heats on Friday, although he did at least secure bronze against the other beaten semi-finalist Shane Perkins.

Kenny had to settle for sprint silver after he was penalised by officials for straying outside the sprinters' lane in his second heat against Bauge. The Brit was trailing 1-0 when he won the dash to the line in the second, only to be relegated en route to a 2-0 loss.

Elsewhere, Victoria Pendleton only managed sixth place in her second round heat of the women's keirin, meaning she missed out on the final. The 2007 champion won her sixth sprint title on Friday but that appeared to have taken its toll 24 hours later.

There was better news for Laura Trott in the women's omnium, the 19-year-old claiming gold for Britain's fifth of the event. Trott held her nerve in the final discipline, the 500m time-trial, defeating Australia's Annette Edmonson by three points. Victory was Trott's first individual world title, and she is feeling confident heading to London 2012.

"I couldn't ask for much more coming into London," she said. "I didn't expect to win. I thought maybe I would pick up a medal, because I had been in the World Cups, but to win - what more can I ask for?"

Trott, who placed third in the 3km individual pursuit discipline on Saturday, singled out her 13th-placed finish in the scratch race - during which she marked Edmondson - as the key to winning the title.

"It's such a hit-or-miss race you never know what's going to happen," Trott said. "My tactic was just to follow the Australian around all day long and when she started to move just make sure that I nipped her on the line - it was a closer race than I wanted it to be. In the 500 I just did what I always do. I nailed it."

Also on Saturday, Ben Swift claimed his second medal of the Championships with silver in the non-Olympic points race. Swift, who won gold in the non-Olympic scratch race earlier in the week, finished a point behind Australia's Cameron Meyer.

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