The last two days have seen Team GB go from strength to strength as they added to their two medals on Wednesday with another three on Thursday.
“This is what dreams are made of and this is what makes the Olympics so special!” said the BBC commentator after witnessing British gold and silver medal placings in the men’s slalom C2 canoeing. Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott finished ahead of Richard Hounslow and David Florence leaving the pre-event favourites, the Hochschorner twins from Slovakia, with bronze. Barely minutes apart, Peter Wilson won a shooting gold for Team GB.
Another silver medal followed as Gemma Gibbons lost out on gold to USA’s Kayla Harrison in the women’s 78kg Judo final. Gibbons was a surprise finalist after beating world number one Audrey Tcheumeo of France in the semi-finals. Tagir Khaibulaev won a gold for Russia in the men’s 100kg division in front of his watching President Vladimir Putin.
The Velodrome saw it’s fair share of drama on day one of track cycling. Team GB used the fierce home atmosphere to their advantage in breaking the world record during the qualifying round of the women’s cycling team sprint. Astonishingly, Germany then set a new world record only five minutes later and, not to be outdone, the Chinese jumped in on the action, adding their own world record. The crowd’s chirpiness soon turned to jeers though as Team GB were relegated one position as they broke the takeover rules when Pendleton overlapped Varnish’s wheel too early. The relegation in that particular heat resulted in elimination. China suffered from the same technicality in the final after beating the Germans but it meant that they still walked away with a silver medal. There was German delight upon learning that they leapfrogged the Chinese for gold.
In the men’s heats, France took revenge for their World Championship final defeat against Australia in Melbourne earlier this year, largely thanks to Gregory Bauge’s electrifying first lap. In the final, Team GB’s 19 year-old Philip Hindes outgunned Bauge on the first lap, laying a platform for Team GB to claim gold and smash their own world record in the process – Team GB’s fifth gold at London 2012. Sir Hoy, who rode the anchor leg, also equalled Sir Steve Redgrave’s British record of five Olympic gold medals.
Elsewhere, New Zealand rowed to their first gold medal of the London Games in the men’s lightweight four with Team GB narrowly finishing second. South Africa added another gold to their London 2012 campaign in the double sculls.
In basketball, the Dream Team racked up the highest score in Olympic history with a 156-73 victory over Nigeria in a flamboyant display reminiscent of the Harlem Globetrotters. Team GB narrowly lost 79-78 to world number two, Spain.
Back in the pool, Michael Phelps won his first individual gold of London 2012 (and his 20th Olympic medal), beating compatriot Ryan Lochte in the 200m individual medley. Lochte won the silver taking his tally to an impressive five medals at the Games.
One week after the opening ceremony, the London 2012 Games have been superb thus far. World records have been broken, favourites have been beaten and the atmosphere in London has been captivating. Today marks the beginning of track and field in the Olympic Stadium and Jessica Ennis (heptathlon) kicks off Team GB’s quest for eight athletics medals.
Categories: Olympics 2012