London 2012: Britain hails record Olympic gold tally

 
Chris Hoy celebrates Sir Chris Hoy said his sixth Olympic victory was 'the perfect end to my Olympic career'

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Britain is celebrating Team GB's success after its athletes achieved their best gold medal haul since the 1908 Olympics.

Sir Chris Hoy won his sixth Olympic gold medal with victory in the keirin to take GB's gold medal tally to 22.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the successes as "a golden summer" for the team and the country.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he hoped athletes' efforts to "bring home the bling" were not over yet.

Among the medal-winning athletes were cyclist Laura Trott, who won her second Olympic gold, and Britain's equestrians in the team dressage event.

Triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee won gold and bronze respectively in front of a huge crowd at Hyde Park.

Mr Johnson offered "fulsome congratulations" to Team GB and said: "Our athletes' efforts to bring home the bling have delivered a tally not seen by any British team in over three generations.

"But it's not over yet. I join the nation in its hope that Team GB is set to deliver more sporting brilliance."

Sir Chris's victory in the sprint event means he has overtaken Sir Steve Redgrave as the athlete with the highest ever number of GB Olympic gold medals.

At the scene

Tears of joy were shed in the Velodrome this evening. Not least by Sir Chris Hoy. But cycling fans, Olympic volunteers and even dewy-eyed Scottish police officers joined him in wiping away a tear after witnessing his gold medal win.

It was speed-enhancing hot in the cycling venue, but as people spilled out in to the Park and the drizzle, they laughed that their spirits weren't dampened. Everyone was smiling. Most had a union jack somewhere about them - flag, hat, bag, leggings, stick-on tattoo.

The live screens and parklands were packed to watch Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton and Hoy race. Even the walkways were full.

Some had come across the city from watching the triathlon in Hyde Park this morning, thrilled to see Britain win four golds today.

"My concern before the Games started was how much pressure we were putting on our athletes," says Tara Smith, "but I knew they had it in them."

The pair hugged at the side of the track, before the ceremony where Sir Chris tearfully accepted his medal.

Peter Keen, elite performance director for UK Sport, said the success in the velodrome was the result of years of hard work: "It's the stuff of dreams. But also it encapsulates the story that's led to London 2012, which is more than a decade now of building and planning and training."

Also during the day, Nick Dempsey won a silver medal in windsurfing, while cyclist Victoria Pendleton took silver in the sprint, and Robbie Grabarz won a bronze medal in the men's high jump.

Team GB are third in the medal table - behind China and the United States - with 22 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze. The tally of 48 medals, with five days of competition remaining, is above the haul from Beijing.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This has really turned into a golden summer for Team GB and for the whole of the UK."

Later he tweeted: "Victoria Pendleton's final race made us all proud...as did Chris Hoy and Laura Trott's spectacular Golds."

'Stepping up'

Sir Chris described his second gold of the London Games as "the perfect end to my Olympic career".

"I wanted to win gold in front of my home crowd. I saw everyone stepping up to the plate and thankfully it worked out for me too.

"I'm 99.9% sure I won't be competing in Rio - how can you top this?" he added.

Olympics coverage online

Olympics images

After victory in the omnium, 20-year-old Trott told the BBC: "I'm peaking at the right time and it's all thanks to the coaches really, and the support of the crowd."

Pendleton - already a double Olympic gold medallist - could not claim a final victory in her last race before retiring from the sport.

She lost out in the sprint to long-term rival, Australian Anna Meares, who she described as a "fantastic competitor".

In equestrian sports, the trio of Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin secured Britain's first ever medal in the dressage grand prix special, the team event.

Speaking afterwards, Hester said: "It's a combination of so many years of dreaming about it and it finally happening. Those girls are cool customers and Charlotte is unbelievable for the amount of time she's been riding."

Earlier, the triathlon medal ceremony was delayed after bronze-medallist Jonny Brownlee collapsed after the finish.

The Brownlee brothers hug afterwards The Brownlee brothers were watched by a crowd of thousands

His brother Alistair said: "That race was just unbelievable. I felt kind of in control right from the start and the crowds... I don't think I've ever come across anything near like that, and probably never will again.

"My ears are still ringing from all that noise and it was absolutely amazing."

The brothers' mother, Cath, said: "It's very unreal. You don't think that those boys running through that line and winning those medals are your sons."

With Team GB's success continuing, demand for any remaining Olympic tickets remains high.

Lord Coe, chairman of Games organisers Locog, said there were no problems with the ticketing website breaking down.

"The website's not crashing... it's just the demand for tickets," he told the BBC.

He added that about two million people at any one time are trying to buy tickets, but only a few thousand each day were able to be released.

Lord Coe also said it was acceptable for rock music to be played during some track events, in a bid to attract a younger audience to watch athletics.

In other developments:

 

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  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 343.

    to all eastenders...dont worry people we soon be shot of this olympic shxte and have a real sport soon in our manor....west ham united ...come on you irons...

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 342.

    332.
    Kent C Strait |

    Where does that footballers wages come from, The people who watch the games live, week in week out. Not once every 4 years.

    I'm pretty sure football brings alot more money into the country than this international sports day will, yearly.

    and it doesn't need lottery money to win, But i bet you lovely Olympic Stadium will be going to a football team. So lucky us!!!!!!!!!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 341.

    GB zinda baad!!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 340.

    BBC especially the website coverage deserves the 20th Gold Medal

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 339.

    Is it just me or has this been possibly the greatest games there has ever been? The atmosphere, crowds and wonderful backdrop, not to mention the sporting achievements.

    Maybe I'm biased (being British and a Londoner)?

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 338.

    I didn't put in for tickets as I normally can't stand athletics etc. but there has been so much on that isn't the stuff that is normally shown on tv that I've got quite interested. It's also a great excuse for watching the screen at work - it's not showing work-related things! I also thought much of it was a probable waster of money - but not now!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 337.

    I'm glad the doubters and the moaners have been forced to shut up due to the current success of the Olympics.

    If there's one lesson to be gained from this Olympics, it's those that get up of their backsides and do something bring about a greater change than those who just sit there complaining.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 336.

    I can't hear the Olympic haters as much... because they are simply MAGNIFICENT! Very proud of our TEAM GB guys and girls, you are such an inspiration to everyone... just look at the crowds cheering you on! Well done everyone involved!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 335.

    True heroes? Inspirational yes heroic no. If you are heroic for doing something you excel in then clearly there are alot of heroes around. You seriously cannot argue the middle ground here but then whats to expect from a nation obsessed with the shiney shiney

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 334.

    congrats, Gold in triathlon,

    the irony of those here who say tax money well spent, is that another 20 schools playing fields are about to be sold off due to lack of funding. Taking from Peter to pay Paul

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 333.

    While congratulating the Medal winners so far. I am also looking forward to the Paralymipcs as well. I hope there'll be as much coverage for that as there has been for the Olympics!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 332.

    328. strontiumdog
    2 MINUTES AGO

    You're correct, £1.4 billion pounds on footballers wages is completely obscene.

    One of our medallists had to scrape together 5k for a car so they could carry on going to training.

    Regardless of whether it's private money or not paying a player £10M a year for playing 50-odd games of football is disgusting.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 331.

    323.
    englishvote

    I'm sure that your ideas of what to spend taxes on are the best ideas and the most relevant.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 330.

    Very, very lucky to get tickets to 5 events (canoeing tomorrow). It has been absolutely wonderful & I don't want it to end. The atmosphere has been fantastic, the organisation superb & our athletes have done brilliantly; It has certainly inspired me. I am enormously proud of Britain & delighted we proved the doubters wrong. A special thank you to all the volunteers: you have been magnificent.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 329.

    312. Confuciousfred
    Are you watching a different event? There is plenty of coverage of other overseas athletes but also we are doing quite well so maybe that's why we are featuring so heavily. Finally, it's good for us to get our own back with some home-soil media advantage - just look at the hugely one-sided USA coverage of sporting events!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 328.

    @318,
    can you show me evidence of that, Are you saying the entire 24 billion which these games have cost came from Lottery money. I guess the council tax surcharge was also payed for with Lottery money. Anyway I'm not complaining, just counter argueing that you cannot compare the cost of footballers to the cost of athletes,

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 327.

    @236
    @247

    So you wont be claiming any of the GB medals of those who train outside of the UK then?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 326.

    Here we go again. More one sided Olympic journalism. No negative issues regarding the Olympics must be discussed here or the BBC propaganda machine will mark you down with negative likes. I see no one is allowed to discuss the significant drop in sales etc suffered by businesses + any other NEGATIVE issues surrounding the Olympics whilst they're on-going.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 325.

    Magic seeing the Sailing on the box! Please Auntie Beeb, can we have MORE varied sports coverage, not just boring footie - the Olympics have proved that there is so much out there to entertain and encourage us to greater things. And Good Luck to Ben Ainslie with his quest to repatriate the Americas Cup!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 324.

    We all know what the BBC does to sport people love, Look at F1. they got rid of that when it was bringing in the viewers. Grandstand? Bah no need, Cricket? not on the BBC anymore, anyone else want to jump in and name the sports the bbc has axed for Eastenders?!

    If you want to know why this nation(s) are not into sport. Look a little closer to home. Take and give!

 

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