Praise as Wiggins medal seals double gold joy for GB

Bradley Wiggins became Britain's most decorated Olympian when he took gold in the cycling time trial on Wednesday

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Praise has poured in for cyclist Bradley Wiggins and rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning after they scooped Britain's first gold medals of 2012.

Tour de France winner Wiggins became the most decorated Olympian in British history, with a total of seven medals.

He won the cycling time trial after Glover and Stanning rowed to victory in the women's pairs; all three were hailed by PM David Cameron.

GB's Michael Jamieson later took the silver in the men's 200m breaststroke.

Team GB kept the nation waiting until day five of the Games for the first home gold medals; however, there are high hopes for further podium finishes in Thursday's cycling.

After his victory, Wiggins, 32, cycled through cheering crowds gathered at Hampton Court, where he hugged his wife Catherine and his children Ben and Isabella.

Glover and Stanning "overjoyed" at gold

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday evening, Wiggins said that despite his success, he did not consider himself to be Britain's greatest ever Olympian.

He also said that, fresh from his victory in the Tour de France, he had been "greedy" and also intended to win Olympic gold. "I felt I could do both," he said, adding that the crowd support on his Olympic time trial ride was "incredible".

David Cameron described the successes in rowing and cycling as a "golden moment for Britain".

Mr Cameron said: "I think it's already a great Olympics, already a great start but this is really going to put rocket boosters on it for the whole country. I'm very, very excited."

Meanwhile, a BBC investigation has found illegal websites still offering tickets - which they have no right to sell - and which buyers may never receive.

Police have warned that such sites do not have access to tickets.

Det Supt Nick Downing, the head of the Olympic crime squad, said: "If they're an authorised site selling tickets, you've got to ask the question - where did they get their tickets from? How can they guarantee a supply? They can't."

In other developments:

Briton Chris Froome took the bronze medal in the time trial, which was watched along the route by an estimated 300,000 people.

Britain's most successful Olympians

  • Bradley Wiggins (cycling) - seven medals
  • Sir Steve Redgrave (rowing) - six medals
  • Sir Chris Hoy (cycling), Jack Beresford (rowing) and Henry Taylor (swimming) - five medals
  • Sir Matthew Pinsent (rowing), Ben Ainslie (sailing), Paulo Radmilovic (swimming/water polo), Reginald Doherty (tennis) - four medals

Wiggins's grandmother Maureen Cousins was also at the side of the road as he crossed the finish line.

"I screamed when he won. It is a combination of delight and relief... We all think he is the greatest," she said.

Earlier, Glover and Stanning made history by becoming the first British women to win an Olympic gold medal for rowing.

Mr Johnson said an "historic triumph will be celebrated throughout the country today".

"It's an outstanding achievement and I'm sure it will spur on all our athletes in the medal stakes. It's fantastic - Go Team GB," he added.

Glover, 26, a former PE teacher from Penzance, Cornwall, had been rowing for only four years before securing gold with Stanning, 27, a Royal Artillery captain, from Lossiemouth, Moray.

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They stormed home in front of cheering crowds at Eton Dorney after leading from the start of the women's pair race.

After crossing the line they hugged each other and saluted the crowd, which included Princes William and Harry and the Princess Royal.

Speaking at the finish line, Glover's mother Rachel said her family was "absolutely delighted".

Stanning is likely to be deployed to Afghanistan next year.

Her commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Craig Palmer, said: "Soldiers from 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery were thrilled to watch the race from their bases in Afghanistan, while their friends and families watched it here in the UK.

"I am sure that they have been inspired by her performance and we look forward to welcoming her back to the regiment later this year."

Lt Col Palmer spoke to Stanning on the BBC News Channel, telling her she had "done a very special thing".

"We're looking forward to a very big party when you do come back to the regiment," he told Stanning.

Labour leader Ed Miliband praised the athletes as "fantastic" and said the games were going "beyond" expectations.

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