Wednesday, 20 August 2008

We never had it so good..

In 1996 ‘we’ (i.e. our representatives in Atlanta) came home with just one Gold medal. So far we have now got 16. Absolutely brilliant.

British cyclist Chris Hoy claimed a superb hat-trick of gold medals after beating team-mate Jason Kenny in the sprint. Kenny’s silver was an addition to his gold in the team sprint. The 32-year-old becomes the first Briton in 100 years to win three golds at the same Olympics, after his earlier success in the team sprint and keirin. The Scot was pushed to the limit in the first race by his 20-year-old opponent, edging the opening duel in the best-of-three by half a wheel's length. Hoy dominated the second race, giving a victory salute as he crossed the line.

Victoria Pendleton won Britain's sixth track cycling gold of the 2008 Olympics with victory over Australia's Anna Meares in the women's sprint final. The 27-year-old was in a class of her own, winning the first two races of the best of three, with relative ease. She led out in the first race before outsprinting her opponent and then gave Meares the chance to lead in the next but the result was even more emphatic.

In the Bird’s Nest stadium our high jumper Germaine Mason took the stadium by storm and gained an unexpected and very welcome silver medal.

This was shortly followed by a Gold when Christine Ohuruogu's stunning 400m victory brought Team GB's gold medal haul to 16 as Britain sealed their best Olympic performance for a century.

The Americans commented the other day that we only won our medals sitting down – a bit of jealousy over our sailing and cycling records, I think. We most definitely proved them wrong the last couple of days... (And one could argue that they win all their medals in the water - when we don't beat them!)

Britain's Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten took silver and bronze in the 10km swim.

Bryony Shaw took the Bronze medal in the Women’s RS:X wind-surfing medal race at the end of a very long week. An emotional Bryony promptly jumped in the water and was dragged into the BBC boat where she was 'over the moon' - "I am just so happy. It was such a hard race and I had such a hard week. It's the best thing in the world. I love my mum and dad so much, they are so supportive. And my boyfriend Greg. My coach Tom is such a legend. I am so (unacceptable word for morning television) happy." That was like Gwyneth Paltrow but with genuine emotion," said BBC presenter Adrian Chiles.

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