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Admittedly, Morten Bennekou had to watch the cyclist Amalie Dideriksen end up just outside the medal stand when she, as the last Danish athlete in action at the Olympics, drove the omnium early Sunday Danish time on the last day of the games.
Yet the smile was not to wipe the face of the elite manager of the Danish Cycling Union (DCU).
Three medals were awarded to the Danish track riders, one of gold and two of silver.
“We have made three medals, we came after two and maybe had hoped for three. It’s beyond expectation, I would say. We also picked up many top-8 positions, which also counts in these systems,” points out Morten Bennekou.
In the men’s pair race Lasse Norman Hansen and Michael Mørkøv won gold, in the women’s ditto Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth got silver, and so did Frederik Rodenberg, Niklas Larsen, Rasmus Lund and Lasse Norman Hansen in the 4000 meter team pursuit race.
“It is therefore worth noting that all Danes who have been in action here on the track have taken at least one medal. That’s a very good statistic, ” Bennekou points out.
It is then also the broad success that makes him most happy when he has to evaluate the track rider Olympics as a whole.
“We don’t just have a shooting star that we risk losing, but we have this with the fact that we succeed in all disciplines we compete in, with the top-5. It tells us that in addition to skilled riders and coaches, we have some concepts that work.«
“Otherwise, you would only succeed in one or maybe two places. We’ll go all the way around and compete for the medals. It gives faith in the future, even if we have to change a little here and there from time to time.«
Therefore, Bennekou is full of confidence ahead of the Paris Olympics in 2024.
“I think we stand well. Now pretty much everyone has to go out and bet on the road, which has always been the intention that they have to go out and take some steps there, but none of them say that they do not want to go to Paris.«
“We also have some coming from below who are going to challenge them before long. So there are nice perspectives before Paris,” the elite manager assesses.