Olympic golds for Britain in cycling, canoeing and shooting

 

Great Britain won three gold medals and three silvers at the London Olympics to cap one of the country's greatest days in the history of the Games.

The men's sprint cycling team twice broke the world record on their way to victory in a packed Velodrome - a result that also saw Sir Chris Hoy equal Sir Steve Redgrave's British record of five Olympic titles.

"We just timed it perfectly." said Hoy. "And I knew the importance of what it was. I didn't want to let the boys down - they've 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."

Olympic canoeing: Great Britain medals lead to wild celebrations

It came just hours after Britain had claimed two golds and a silver within the space of five minutes in the men's canoe slalom and the men's double trap shooting.

Earlier in the day, Britain won a rowing silver in the men's lightweight four at Eton Dorney.

Team GB's overall medal tally is now 15, putting them fifth in the table, after lying 11th overnight. Thursday's haul is one of Britain's greatest, but falls short of "super Saturday" four years ago in Beijing when they won four gold medals, a silver and four bronzes.

Friday could be even better for Britain with four genuine gold medal prospects, starting with rowers Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins in the women's double sculls at 12:10 BST, the men's team pursuit (17:55) and the women's keirin (18:40) in cycling and swimmer Rebecca Adlington aiming to retain her 800m title (19:43).

Canoeists Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott triumphed mid-afternoon with countrymen David Florence and Richard Hounslow second at the Lee Valley Water Centre.

South Africa pip GB to gold in men's four

Moments later, shooter Peter Wilson won in the double trap at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

The host nation, now with five golds at these Games, came close to adding another just 35 minutes after Wilson's triumph, but Gemma Gibbons had to settle for silver in her judo final.

It was not all good news for Britain though. Track cyclists Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were disqualified from the women's team sprint for an illegal takeover during their semi-final contest with Ukraine.

It ends Pendleton's bid for three gold medals at the Games, but she will have further opportunities in the individual sprint and keirin events.

"Now and again rubbish things happen and this was one of those days," said Pendleton, who will retire after the Olympics.

"We were pleased with our times. The only positive I can take from it is that my form is really good."

Baillie and Stott's stunning run gave Britain their first Olympic gold in the canoe slalom.

GB star Wilson wins shooting gold

The Britons, who are ranked sixth in the world, produced an error-free run to take a shock win, with Florence and Hounslow, the world number nine pair, claiming an impressive silver.

Stott said: "It's weird. It could have been a disaster and now it's a dream. There is nothing taken for granted in this sport and getting to the final was amazing."

Baillie added: "The run we had, I was hoping it might be good enough for a medal, but I didn't expect that."

Despite being edged into silver, Florence was pleased with how he and Hounslow performed.

"We had to focus on our own run and we were pleased with it," he said. "To win an Olympic medal, we are certainly not disappointed."

Hounslow added: "It's all about Team GB but we wanted to put a result in. We attacked it hard all the way down but it was a sprinter's finish."

World record holder Wilson said his gold in the double trap "meant a huge amount".

He added: "It was really difficult to put it into words. You watch these guys talking afterwards when they win medals and saying it is hard to put it into words - and it really is.

GB's Gibbons wins silver

"What a feeling, what a rush. I just don't know what to say."

Silver for Gibbons gave Britain their first judo medal at an Olympics since 2000, when Kate Howey, who now coaches Gibbons, took silver.

"It doesn't really seem real at the minute," said Londoner Gibbons. "The crowd were absolutely amazing. I wish I could have got the gold for them, but unfortunately it wasn't to be."

Gibbons is studying for a masters degree at the University of East London.

"Both the staff and students are absolutely thrilled that Gemma has won the silver medal," said Elizabeth Egan, the university's high performance sports manager. "Her inclusion in the final was far more than we ever expected, so today marks a fantastic day for British judo."