Helen Glover and Heather Stanning became Team GB’s first gold medalists of the London 2012 Games on Wednesday morning. They also became Britain’s first ever female rowing Olympic winners. Incredibly, Glover only started rowing four years ago and just two years ago, the pair were considered reserves. In contrast, they have dominated in 2012, winning several World Cup meets. They started today’s 2,000m final very strongly resulting in a sizeable lead after just 500m. From there on they kept up the intensity and to the delight of the Eton Dorney crowd, won Team GB’s first gold medal. Legendary rower, Sir Steve Redgrave, said “They did it in a style that not even I expected – that was unbelievable.” Australia and New Zealand finished with the silver and bronze medals.
Barely half an hour later and Team GB’s men’s eights pushed eventual winners Germany hard, edging into the lead but they fell away in the last 500m – finishing up with a bronze medal. The Canadians stormed through the field to clinch the silver medal.
In cycling, Bradley Wiggins won the men’s time trial and Team GB’s second gold medal of the Olympics. It was his seventh Olympic medal, his fourth gold, making him the most successful British Olympian ever. Only a couple of weeks ago, Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France but the celebrations were put on ice as he got back onto the saddle immediately in preparation for London 2012. Great dedication from a truly great athlete. “I don’t think my sporting career will ever top this now,” said Wiggins. “That’s it. It will never, never get better than that. Incredible.” Surely, it’s now only a matter of time before we hear the words, ‘Arise Sir Bradley’. Wiggins partner from the Tour, Chris Froome, finished in third place in the time trial, adding to his runners-up finish in France.
In the women’s cycling time trial, American Kristin Armstrong defended her Olympic title. German Judith Arndt, the reigning world champion, claimed silver, whilst Russian Olga Zabelinskaya won the bronze. Representing Team GB, Emma Pooley finished sixth and Lizzie Armitstead could not add a medal to Sunday’s bronze, in the road race, finishing 10th.
In other news, Andy Murray put Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis to the sword in a thrilling third round match at Wimbledon. Baghdatis caused Murray all sorts of problems but it was the Brit who scraped through into the quarter-finals.
Categories: Olympics 2012