Joy as three golds push Team GB up Olympic medals table
- 2 August 2012
- From the section UK
Team GB's "superb performances" have given them "great momentum", sports minister Hugh Robertson has said as they leapt up the Olympic medal table.
They took first and second place in the men's canoe slalom and minutes later won a gold in the shooting. The other silvers came in judo and rowing.
Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy's sprint team took GB's third gold of Thursday.
But Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were disqualified from the women's team sprint for an infringement.
There were high hopes for the pairing, who appeared to have qualified for the gold medal match with China, but they lost their chance to compete in the final for "an illegal change."
Pendleton, who is still competing in the sprint and keirin, said the penalty after their early changeover was "just one of those things".
The GB men's team of Sir Chris, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny won in a new world record time of 42.6 seconds.
It saw Sir Chris take his Olympic gold medal tally to five, equalling Sir Steve Redgrave, following his success at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. Kenny previously won Olympic gold in the team sprint in Beijing.
Sir Chris said: "We knew it was possible, this hasn't come out of the blue. We knew that if we put together our best possible race on the day that it was possible but it's easier said than done.
"We had the full support of the team behind us and we nailed it. That last ride I dug deeper than I have ever dug before. I didn't want to let the boys down, they have been riding so well today.
"It's just immense pride to be able to do it here in the UK, in front of this crowd who have been phenomenal. You can't overstate what this means to us in front of a home crowd. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
In other developments:
- GB's Rebecca Adlington began the defence of her 800m freestyle Olympic crown by qualifying quickest for Friday's final
- At Wimbledon, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in the crowd as tennis third-seed Andy Murray made it through to the semi-finals of the men's singles after beating Spaniard Nicolas Almagro
- Post boxes have been painted gold to honour Heather Stanning and Helen Glover's victory in the rowing. Royal Mail says it plans to honour all gold medal winners in this way, as well as issuing stamps featuring their images
- The British Olympic Association said the problem of empty seats at venues still "has to be sorted"
- A record number of passengers using Cardiff's main railway station caused travel disruption after Team GB's men's football match, according to First Great Western
- Australian rower Joshua Booth has been arrested after a shop front was damaged in a Surrey town.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron were among the spectators in the velodrome to witness GB's triumph.
Mr Cameron later tweeted: "It was a huge privilege to witness @TeamGB win the Men's Team Sprint with a World Record. A truly great day for the UK."
Earlier, Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie triumphed in the two-man canoe slalom at at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, ahead of David Florence and Richard Hounslow.
Stott, from Bedford, said: "It's weird, it could have been a disaster and now it's a dream... It's a great script for Great Britain and it's a great script for canoeing."
At the Royal Artillery Barracks, Peter Wilson's family jumped to their feet in delight as the 25-year-old from Dorset took gold in the men's double trap.
Sarah Sherwood, his cousin and godmother, who travelled from Sydney, Australia, with a group of relatives to watch the event said: "I am ecstatic, really proud and I knew he would do it. He has such focus. He has a real talent, great technique and has kept his cool under pressure."
There was applause from Mr Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who were both among the crowd at the Excel arena, as Gemma Gibbons picked up her silver medal in the 78kg judo following her defeat to American Harrison.
The prime minister congratulated her personally on her achievement as Day Six of the Games turned out to be Team GB's most successful so far.
Mr Robertson said Team GB was "on the rise up the medal table". The total medal tally now stands at 15 and sees GB in fifth place in the table.
Richard and Peter Chambers, Rob Williams and Chris Bartley won Britain's third rowing medal of the Games in the men's lightweight coxless fours but were edged out by South Africa at Eton Dorney.
The mother of Richard and Peter Chambers said she was "completely delighted" by the result after a "ridiculously tough race."
"It was amazing, I am so proud," Gillian Chambers, from Coleraine, added. "I hope they are not disappointed. At that level that achievement is just too fantastic to consider it a disappointment."