GREAT Britain is celebrating its first gold medals with cyclist Bradley Wiggins securing his position as an all-time great after rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning stormed to victory in the final of the women’s pair.
Wiggins claimed a record-breaking seventh Olympic medal - clinching gold just 10 days after his historic Tour de France victory.
The cyclist raced to glory in the time-trial around Hampton Court on a day of triumph for Britain when sports fans heard the national anthem played twice.
Hours earlier rowers Glover and Stanning claimed Team GB’s first gold medal of London 2012, making history by becoming the first British women to take the top spot in Olympic rowing.
Wiggins’ seventh medal takes him one clear of rower Sir Steve Redgrave, who has six, making him the most decorated British Olympian of all-time. British dominance in cycling was underlined as fellow Briton Chris Froome, second to Wiggins in the Tour, took a bronze.
The 32-year-old said. “It’s really incredible to win an Olympic Gold in your home city. When you win in the velodrome there are three or four thousand people cheering. Here, around the streets of London, the noise is just amazing. I don’t think anything will top that. It’s just been phenomenal.”
There was further rowing success as Great Britain won a bronze medal in the men’s eight final in a race which saw them heroically challenge favourites Germany. The medal was a special moment for Greg Searle, 40, who came out of retirement in an attempt to become an Olympic champion for a second time, two decades after winning gold in Barcelona.
Team GB’s success continued when Michael Jamieson, 23, claimed a silver in the men’s 200m breaststroke final, but he was only beaten by a world record time.
“I’m so delighted,” Jamieson said, adding that he was “desperate” to get on the podium to repay those who have supported him. The Scot’s time was the third fastest time in history
The wins puts Team GB 11th in the medal table with nine - two golds, three silvers and four bronze. The tally means the London 2012 host nation is doing better than it was at the same point in the Beijing Games four years ago.
Over at Eton Dorney, crowds were ecstatic as Glover and Stanning stormed to victory. Glover, 26, a former PE teacher from Penzance, Cornwall, has been rowing for four years and was paired with Stanning only three years ago. Stanning, 27, from Lossiemouth, Moray, is a Royal Artillery captain who is likely to be deployed to Afghanistan next year.
* THE Star’s Olympics Editor Richard Fidler is at London 2012 to bring you all the latest breaking news about South Yorkshire’s athletes and more.
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