Sir Chris lands historic fifth gold
Published 02/08/2012 | 21:12
Sir Chris Hoy has cycled to glory by taking an historic fifth Olympic title on a golden day for Britain.
Sir Chris equalled Sir Steve Redgrave's record haul of five golds and boosted the atmosphere at the Velodrome where fans saw Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish miss out on a medal chance after being relegated from the team sprint event for a takeover infringement.
Sir Chris and team-mates Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny smashed the world record they set in qualifying as they successfully defended their title in the men's team sprint against France.
Their win topped off a fantastic day as Team GB shot up the medals table with sharp-shooter Peter Wilson gunning his way to Olympic glory and Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie triumphing in the two-man canoe slalom. Gemma Gibbons won silver in the women's 78kg judo final, boosting the Team GB medal haul to five golds, six silver and four bronze.
An emotional Sir Chris wiped a tear from his eye on the top step of the podium as the national anthem finished playing, with the partisan crowd singing along.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and David Cameron were all on their feet cheering the British trio home in a world record-breaking 42.6 seconds. The Prime Minister tweeted: "It was a huge privilege to witness @TeamGB win the Men's Team Sprint with a World Record. A truly great day for the UK."
Sir Chris said the success was "quite overwhelming". He said: "We knew it was possible, this hasn't come out of the blue. We knew that if we put together our best possible race on the day that it was possible but it's easier said than done. We had the full support of the team behind us and we nailed it.
"That last ride I dug deeper than I have ever dug before. I didn't want to let the boys down, they have been riding so well today. You can't overstate what it means to us in front of our home crowd."
The performance capped a remarkable 24 hours for British cycling after Bradley Wiggins became the first man to win the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year with victory in the road time-trial.
But Hoy must now wait until Tuesday's final day of the track programme to compete in his second event, the men's keirin, in which he is the world champion.