Gold rush continues for Britain

Gold rush continues for Britain

Cyclist Victoria Pendleton celebrates with her gold medal after winning the women's keirin final at the London 2012 Olympics

Great Britain's Katherine Grainger (left) and Anna Watkins celebrate winning gold in the women's double sculls

Rebecca Adlington finished third in the 800m final

First published in National News © by

There has been a wave of golden glory for the British team as Victoria Pendleton became queen of the velodrome, its cyclists smashed a world record and rower Katherine Grainger finally realised her Olympic dream.

But, despite battling bravely, Rebecca Adlington could only manage a bronze medal as she tried to make history by becoming the first British swimmer to successfully defend an Olympic title.

Pendleton made up for the bitter disappointment of being relegated from the team sprint and produced a storming finish to take the gold medal in the women's keirin, saying: "I can barely believe it. The crowd have been fantastic - they really helped me tonight."

And with cycling hero Bradley Wiggins looking on, the men's team pursuit squad added gold with an emphatic performance which shattered the world record leaving rivals Australia trailing in their wake. The golds pushed Team GB to fourth in the medals table with 22 - eight gold, six silver and eight bronze.

Adlington admitted there had been pressure and expectation on her to win gold in the 800m freestyle, but declared: "I gave it my absolute all."

The atmosphere in the Velodrome was electric as Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke stormed to victory in the pursuit. Thomas told the BBC: "The crowd is unbelievable. My ears are ringing. It's too loud."

After three consecutive silver medals Grainger had feared she would always be the bridesmaid at the Games, but she put those days behind her as she stormed to victory with her double sculls partner, Anna Watkins. The scene could not have been further removed from the devastating defeat in Beijing four years ago when Grainger missed out on gold. Then, she was left distraught and contemplating retirement.

She told the BBC: "It was worth the wait. I feel this medal, of all of them, is the people's medal. I feel so many people have been behind me and supported me and wanted this for me as much as I have."

There was more rowing triumph for Team GB when George Nash and William Satch took bronze in the men's pair and Alan Campbell took bronze in the men's single sculls. Another bronze went to veteran British judo heavyweight Karina Bryant, who finally claimed an Olympic medal in a fight against Iryna Kindzerska of Ukraine.

Britain will also be guaranteed at least another silver medal in a rematch of the Wimbledon final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer. Murray beat Novak Djokovic in two sets while, in a remarkable match, Federer defeated Juan Martin Del Potro winning the deciding set 19-17.

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