3 August 2012

Brilliant Brits Continue Success As Hosts Move Up To Fourth In Medal Table

The home nation continued to take the London Olympics by storm as they secured another three gold medals on day seven. Golds on the track in the men's team pursuit and women's keirin followed gold at Eton Dorney for Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins in the women's double sculls. The men's pursuit quartet of  Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh smashed the world record that they had set in qualifying by nearly a second leaving Australia languishing over two and a half seconds behind. Victoria Pendleton made up for her disqualification in the team sprint to beat Chinese cyclist Guo Shuang to the line and seal keirin gold.

Grainger and Watkins got the ball rolling with a dominant victory over Kim Crowe and Brooke Pratley of Australia as the former took her first Olympic title at the fourth time of asking after silvers in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. The 36-year-old said that the winning moment was well worth the wait: "Steve Redgrave promised me there would be tears of joy this time and there are. For both of us we knew we had the goods to perform and it was about delivering." For Watkins the gold was her second Olympic medal after a bronze in the same event four years ago.

However there was more to come from Team GB and the next successes would come in the Velodrome as the Brits dominated the team pursuit competitions. The men's team took the gold medal in a new world record while the women broke the world record in their qualifying competition. After the record-breaking effort of the men's pursuit it was down to Pendleton to try and take GB's gold medal count on the track to three in the keirin. She duly delivered after breezing past Australian world champion Anna Mears with two laps to go. Mears faded as Shuang came roaring back but home girl Pendleton held off her challenge as Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze took bronze. The great win takes Britain's cycling total to four golds for the games.

As well as the three gold medals the hosts also took four bronze medals on a thrilling day of Olympic action. Defending champion Rebecca Adlington went into her 800 metre freestyle final as the favourite but was stunned by 15-year-old American Katie Ledecky who came up narrowly short of breaking Adlington's world record. The crowd roared her on but she seemed to struggle under the pressure and finished with a bronze medal to go with her 400 metre bronze from earlier on in the week. She said that she was happy with her finish and said that she hoped that the 'nation would be proud of her bronze medal'.

After Gemma Gibbons’ silver yesterday in the judo Karina Bryant took bronze by winning a thrilling fight against Ukraine's Iryna Kindzerska. That continued a great performance from the British judo team that includes two medals which is a great achievement considering that their last medal was in Sydney twelve years ago. Bryant's medal followed two bronze's at Eton Dorney thanks to George Nash and Will Satch in the men's pair and Alan Campbell in the single sculls. Overall seven medals for GB on day seven represented a good result but there were other encouraging performances.

Jessica Ennis started her heptathlon gold attempt in style with a British 100 metre hurdles record while Dai Greene in the 400 metre hurdles and Christine Ohuruogu in the 400 metres comfortably qualified from their heats in the Olympic Stadium. Andy Murray sealed an impressive straight sets 7-5, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic to set up a final meeting with Roger Federer in a repeat of the Wimbledon final. With plenty more medal chances coming up on day eight the Brits will be confident of holding onto their third spot in the medal table.

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