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Oldham’s Matt Walls wins gold in the men’s omnium at debut Olympics, The Manc

Oldham’s Matt Walls wins gold in the men’s omnium at debut Olympics

The 23-year-old’s victory earns Team GB’s first track cycling gold medal at the Games.

British cyclist Matt Walls has bagged a gold medal at Tokyo 2020 with a dominant performance in the omnium.

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At his first Olympics, the 23-year-old proud Oldham lad finished on a total of 153 points – 24 more than silver medallist Campbell Stewart of New Zealand.

Italy’s defending champion Elia Viviani took bronze.

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Walls’ victory earns Team GB’s first track cycling gold medal at the Games – adding to a personal haul that has already seen him take a world championship bronze and European title.

Walls got his campaign at the Izu Velodrome off to the perfect start when he won the opening scratch race, before placing third in the tempo race.

Second place followed in the elimination round, ensuring he would top the overall standings going into the 100-lap points race.

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He was one of several riders to gain a lap early on, earning 20 points, and won two of the sprints.

Not only is this Team GB’s first track cycling gold of the Games, Walls is also Great Britain’s first male Olympic champion in the omnium event, after Mark Cavendish’s silver at Rio 2016 and Ed Clancy’s bronze at London 2012 – when the event was first included on the Olympic programme.

Walls told the BBC after his victory: “I managed to get a good lead coming to the end.

“It’s been a hard day [but] I came into that points race with a bit of a lead which was nice, it gave me a bit of breathing room.”

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Giving a deserved shoutout to his upbringing in the Greater Manchester town, Walls added: “Thank you to all my family and friends, I wouldn’t be here without them, especially my parents when I was younger growing up, they travelled around the country with me and there’s no chance I’d be here without them.”

Featured Image – Twitter (@TeamGB)

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