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Since Day Three, there is only one word to describe just what Team GB has achieved.
The scale of their success has potentially surpassed the majority’s expectations as the London Olympics took full flight and reached heights perhaps unimaginable within the minds of the host country.
Day four signaled the beginning of the medal rush in the Team GB camp, gaining an eventing team silver in the morning session. A day that, in hindsight, acted as the tip of the iceberg for British success saw numerous qualifications for British athletes. Particularly notable were the men’s rowing lightweight four and Michael Jamieson in the 200m Breastroke, setting a new British record in the process.
On day five… THE GOLD RUSH BEGINS! Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Team GB’s opening gold medal as they took victory in the rowing women’s pair, the first women’s rowing gold for Team GB, whilst the men’s rowing eight also saw a well-fought bronze medal and eclipse all expectations. Bradley Wiggins took time-trial gold by an enormous forty-two seconds, whilst the evening swimming session saw Michael Jamieson pick up an incredible silver medal in the 200m breastroke.
In other news, eight female Badminton players saw their Olympic dreams ended following blatant attempts to throw their matches in order to achieve an easier draw in the competition, acting adversely to the Olympic spirit.
Day six was another supreme day for Team GB which began in the morning with the lightweight men’s four taking silver in the rowing whilst Rebecca Adlington qualified fastest for the 800m freestyle final. British pairs consisting of Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott and David Florence and Richard Hounslow earned a terrific gold and silver respectively in canoe slalom, a first for GB. Peter Wilson took trap shooting gold, Britain’s team sprint trio also won gold, giving Sir Chris Hoy his fifth Olympic gold medal, Gemma Gibbons won Judo silver and Andy Murray reached the semi-finals in the men’s singles tennis, guaranteeing a medal.
Michael Phelps also swam his way to that elusive 20th Olympic medal, fittingly claiming gold fighting off fellow USA countryman Ryan Lochte in the 200m individual medley.
Day Seven began with three rowing medals for Great Britain. A memorable moment, uttering the words ‘We’ve just won the Olympics!’ upon the finish saw Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins take gold, whilst two well-earned bronze medals were taken by Single Sculls competitor Alan Campbell, and Will Satch and George Nash in the men’s pair.
Success bred success and the morning’s achievement was swiftly followed by glory at the Velodrome in the shape of the men’s pursuit team and Victoria Pendleton in the keirin, both taking gold whilst Karina Bryant earned an excellent and perhaps surprising bronze in the women’s heavyweight judo.
Day eight was aptly named SUPER SATURDAY! Great Britain’s most successful day in Olympic history began at Eton Dorney once again, with Team GB’s men’s four defending their Olympic title, Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking won lightweight double sculls gold and the men’s lightweight pair won silver. Jessica Ennis began her Heptathlon quest by running the fastest 100m hurdles time (12.54s) ever seen in the event, a time that would have seen her take gold in the individual event in Bejiing! Usain Bolt also, unsurprisingly, won his 100m heat.
Women’s team pursuit cyclists took gold with, yet again, another record-breaking performance. This was the trio’s sixth consecutive world record, an incredible feat from the ladies. Andy Murray reached both the men’s singles and mixed doubles finals paired with young talent Laura Robson.
The evening session united Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon, Greg Rutherford in the long jump, and Mo Farah in the 10,000m with gold in a previously unrivalled evening of athletics for Great Britain. A phenomenal evening inside the Olympic stadium was unquestionably put into perspective when Team GB Football were knocked out on penalties (SHOCK!) by South Korea at the quarter final stage.
The morning session of day nine saw Victoria Pendleton set an Olympic Games record in quarter finals of the women’s team sprint. Andy Murray superbly took singles gold in a classy performance that saw him wrap up that elusive high-profile tournament win in straight sets against the domineering figure of Roger Federer. Murray also took silver alongside Laura Robson in the mixed doubles.
Fellow Brit Ben Ainslie sealed his fourth Olympic title, hailing him as the greatest Olympic sailor of all time. The afternoon session saw gymnast Louis Smith come agonizingly close to a gold medal in the Pommel Horse final, relegated to silver after achieving the same score as the eventual gold medallist but losing on an execution score count back. The event also saw Max Whitlock obtain an unexpected bronze medal. Ed Clancy claimed bronze at the velodrome in the new to the Olympic Games Omnium event.
In the women’s 400m, Christine Ohuruogu obtained Britain’s only medal of the evening, taking silver after a fierce fight-back down the home straight similar to the performance the saw her take gold back in Bejiing, only to run out of distance in a closely fought race. The man himself, Usain Bolt, took apart the rest of the 100m field, claiming victory by showing the world his pure top speed towards the latter stages in a race that saw Yohan Blake claim silver and Justin Gatlin take bronze. There was no place in the final for a British athlete.
British success has bred positivity that has seared it’s way throughout the streets of Great Britain and it is not necessary to look far to identify potential legacy the games could uphold for future generations. An excellent nucleus to the games for Team GB has been set as the precedent for further success, and long may it continue!