Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Team GB hit top gear taking three golds and two silvers

Gold for Hoy and the sprint team – as Northern Ireland's Chambers brothers take silver

From right, Peter Chambers, Rob Williams, Richard Chambers and Chris Bartley won silver in the men's lightweight four rowing final (AP)
From right, Peter Chambers, Rob Williams, Richard Chambers and Chris Bartley won silver in the men's lightweight four rowing final (AP)
Great Britain's (left to right) Chris Bartley, Richard Chambers, Rob Williams and Peter Chambers in win silver the final of the lightweight men's four at Eton Dorney Rowing Lake, Windsor.
Fans of Richard and Peter Chambers cheer at Coleraine Baptist church as they and Rob Williams and Chris Bartley won GB's fourth silver medal
Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins poses for the press after winning the Men's Individual Time Trial on day five of the London Olympic Games at Hampton Court Palace, London
Great Britain, including Coleraine brothers Richard and Peter Chambers, claimed silver in the final of the lightweight men's four at Eton Dorney
Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins with his gold medal during a photocall at GB house in London after he won it in the Men's Road Cycling Individual Time Trial.
Ning Ding of China plays a forehand during the Women's Singles Table Tennis quarter-final match against Ai Fukuhara of Japan on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Hope Munro (L) of Australia drops her stick as she is challenged by Julia Mueller of Germany during the Women's Hockey Match between Germany and Australia on day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Riverbank Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Michael Maze of Denmark completes during the Men's Singles Table Tennis quarter-final match against Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: xxxx plays a forehand during the xxxx match against xxxx on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Chad le Clos of South Africa celebrates after winning the gold in the Men's 200m Butterfly final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: xxxx plays a forehand during the xxxx match against xxxx on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Anthony Davis #14 of United States dunks over Salah Mejri #15 of Tunisia during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Kosuke Kitajima of Japan prepares to compete in the Men's 200m Breaststroke semi final 2 on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Shiwen Ye of China competes in the Women's 200m Individual Medley final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: (L-R) Gemma Lowe of Great Britain and Kathleen Hersey of the United States dive in the water at the start of the Women's 200m Butterfly semi final 2 on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Russell Westbrook #7 of United States dunks the ball against Tunisia during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt competes with Byungchul Choi of Korea in the Men's Foil Individual Semifinal against on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Anderson Mina Rojas of Equador (R) in action with Uktamjon Rahmonov of Uzbekistan during the Men's Light Welter (64kg) Boxing on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Ai Fukuhara of Japan serves during the Women's Singles Table Tennis quarter-final match match against Ning Ding of China on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America competes on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Elizabeth Tweddle of Great Britain performs on the uneven bars in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Sheng Lei of China celebrates winning the Men's Foil Individual Gold Medal Bout against Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Silver medallist Michael Phelps of the United States reacts after receiving his medal during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m Butterfly final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Qingfeng Lin of China competes during the Men's 69kg Weightlifting Final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Aidan Zingel #1 and Igor Yudin #6 of Australia block Australia shot from Great Britain during Men's Volleyball on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Earls Court on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Sheng Lei (L) of China competes in the Men's Foil Individual Gold Medal Bout against Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Daniel Narcisse of France jumps ahead of Gonzalo Matias Carou of Argentina during the Men's Handball Preliminary match between Argentina and France on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Copper Box on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Michael Phelps of the United States dives off of the block at the start of heat 5 of the Men's 200m Butterfly on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Nicholas McCrory from the United States during warm-ups on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
German Sanchez Sanchez and Ivan Garcia Navarro (L) of Mexico look on from the pool deck during the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Diving on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Jose Antonio Guerra and Jeinkler Aguirre of Cuba during the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Diving on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 30, 2012 in London, England.
Eric Hurd and Jeff Larimer of the United States compete during the Men's Canoe Double (C2) Slalom heats on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Clayton Fredericks of Australia falls from Bendigo in the Eventing Cross Country Equestrian event on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Great Britain's Tom Daley (left) and Peter Waterfield practice before the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Final during day three of the 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London.
Great Britain's Nicola Wilson riding Opposition Buzz jumps The Moon fence on the cross country course during The Eventing at Greenwich Park, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Great Britain's Max Whitlock competes on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics team final at the North Greenwich Arena, London, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics
Great Britain's Sarah Clark (left) is thrown by France's Automne Pavia during their WomenÕs 57kg Judo bout at the ExCel North Arena 2, London, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Great Britain's Richard Brickell during Day 1 of the Skeet Qualification Round at the Royal Artillery Barracks, London, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Francesca Dallape and Tania Cagnotto of Italy compete in the Women's Synchronised 3m Springboard final on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Kazakhstan's Sergey Lim is thrown by Japan's Masashi Ebinuma (right) in the Men's 66kg Judo Round of 16 at the ExCeL Centre on the second day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Great Britain's Liam Tancock starts his Men's 100m Backstroke First Semi-final at the Aquatics Centre, London.
USA's Venus Williams during the practice session at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, London.
Great Britain's Joseph Regan (blue cap) battles for the ball against Romania in the mens Water Polo preliminary group B match at the Water Polo Arena, London.
Great Britain's Beth Tweddle competes on the uneven bars during the Artistic Gymnastics Team Qualification at the North Greenwich Arena, London, on the second day of the London 2012 Olympics
Rebecca Adlington (C) of Great Britain competes in the Women's 400m Freestyle heat 3 on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Yao Jinnan of China practises on the Beam during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games
Bryony Shaw of Great Britain in action during training at the Weymouth & Portland Venue ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Vasiliki Millousi of Greece competes on the beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Laura Ludwig of Germany dives for the ball during Women's Beach Volleyball Preliminary match between Germany and Australia on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Victoria Komova of Russia competes on the vault in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Mike Dawson of New Zealand competes during the Men's Kayak (K1) Canoe Slalom heats on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Heem Wei Lim of Singapore performs on the beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Michael Phelps of the United States dives into the water to swim his leg of the relay as team mate Nathan Adrian touches the wall during the Final of the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Emily Seebohm of Australia competes in the Women's 100m Backstroke semi final 2 on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Luol Deng #9 of Great Britain falls as a basket is made against Russia during their Men's Basketball Game on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Austin Playfoot, lights the Olympic Cauldron following it being moved into position ready for the athletics in the Olympic Stadium on July 30, 2012 in London
Great Britain's Sarah Barrow (near) and Tonia Couch practice their diving routine during the training session in the Aquatics Centre at Olympic Park, London.
Great Britain's Rebecca Gallantree (bottom) and Alicia Blagg compete in the Women's Synchronised 3m Springboard at the Aquatics Centre, London, on the second day of the London 2012 Olympics.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Street artist James Cochran, Aka Jimmy C puts the finishing touches to a piece of work depicting the face of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt on July 20, 2012 in London, England. The opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games will take place in seven days on July 27, 2012. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Annabelle Smith of Australia practices a dive during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
A member of Team Australia practices the floor exercise during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Training Academy on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Diver Tom Daley of Great Britain shakes water out of his hair as he climbs out of the pool during a diving training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Tom Daley (R) and Peter Waterfield of Great Britain during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Tom Daley of Great Britain dives during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Great Britain's Tim Baillie (left) and Stott Etienne in action in the mens double canoe during the training session at Lee Valley White Water Centre, Waltham Cross. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 26, 2012. Photo credit should read: Stephen Pond/PA Wire.
Athletes from the Great Britain Women's Synchronised Swimming team practice during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Multiple exposures were combined in camera to produce this image.) A Chinese diver trains ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatic Centre on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
The Great Britain synchronize team train ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatic Centre on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Yang Sun of China swims during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England.
James Goddard of Great Britain looks on during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Swimmer Hayden Stoeckel of Australia swims during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Daniele Matias Hypolito of Brazil chalks her feet on the uneven bars during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Training Academy on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

What started as a pair of gilded victories greeted by national relief turned into a euphoric flood on day six of the London Games yesterday when Britain took three golds and two silvers and leapt to fifth in the overall medal table.

Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy equalled Sir Steve Redgrave's British record of five gold medals – and he also has one silver, to Redgrave's single bronze. Hoy, 19-year-old Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny stormed to a world record in the men's sprint to claim gold.

Last night, Hoy, welling up, said: "It was overwhelming. I dug deeper than ever before. The crowd have been phenomenal. "I feel immense pride to be able to do this in London, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I can't overstate what it means."



The opening night of battle in "The Pringle", as the Olympic velodrome will forever be known, saw a blistering display of speed from the host nation with three records set by the men's team.



But the day after Teams GB's first golds had been won – by cyclist Bradley Wiggins and rowers Heather Stanning and Helen Glover – was defined by the ability of the Olympics to elevate more obscure sports to treasured moments in the national memory. In an extraordinary hour of afternoon endeavour, Britain's third and fourth gold medals of the Games were secured by Britain's canoeists and a Dorset farmer's son trained to the apogee of clay pigeon shooting by an Arab sheikh.



Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott, Team GB's second string in the C2 men's double canoe, had been delighted to be in the final at all.



But after a stunning run through Lee Valley rapids white water – thrashing the Czech Hochschorner brothers, considered the best canoeists in history – they claimed gold. Britain's first-choice crew, David Florence and Richard Hounslow, took silver. Stott, who broke down in tears as the enormity of the achievement became clear, said: "I would have been happy to get fourth, but to win is just mad. It is brilliant."



If canoeing at 3.35pm on a Thursday was an unusual thing to grip the country's interest, even more unusual was the national captivation as Peter Wilson, a 6ft 6in shooter, led from the front in the final of the double trap.



The 25-year-old had spent last year training in Dubai under the watchful eye of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum, a member of the emirate's ruling family and an Olympic champion who offered his services to the young Briton for free. The Olympic debutant traded shot for shot in the final against his Russian pursuer Vasily Mosin, each puff of pink powder as a disc exploded bringing him closer to victory at the Royal Artillery Barracks. Wilson said afterwards: "I'm going to get very, very drunk and probably do something silly."



The golds were promptly followed by a remarkable silver – the first by a resident of London Olympic boroughs – as Charlton's judoka Gemma Gibbons overcame the French world No 1 Audrey Tcheumeo in her semi-final. Gibbons, 25, dedicated that victory to her mother Jeanette, who died from leukaemia in 2004, mouthing: "I love you mum." Her 4pm final, watched by David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, conducting their diplomatic tussle, was won by American Kayla Harrison. But Gibbons' silver is Britain's first judo medal since the Sydney Olympics 12 years ago.



Team GB's light men's fours had started the domestic medal rush at Eton Dorney with a silver in the most thrilling finish yet in the rowing regatta. Northern Ireland brothers Richard and Peter Chambers, Rob Williams and Chris Bartley took second in the narrowest of finishes, which saw outsiders South Africa snatch victory.

Richard Chambers was quick to recognise second, in such a race, as an ample honour. “Whatever medal we won, it was going to be hard to celebrate,” the Ulsterman explained. “We were in absolute agony. We had to dig in and fight to the death. But we’re ecstatic. It’s definitely a day to celebrate. And massive credit to our competition.”

He told BBC1: "We were just fighting and fighting just to get ourselves back in contention and we did a cracking job. To even get the silver was impressive from where we came from. "



There was bitter disappointment for British cycling's golden girl Victoria Pendleton and her partner Jess Varnish when they were disqualified from the women's sprint event for a fault.



But the strains of "God Save the Queen" being played across three London venues is a welcome soundtrack as Britain's elite athletes begin the track and field competition in the Olympic Stadium today.



Jessica Ennis begins her quest for gold as hot favourite in the heptathlon while Dai Greene, the captain of the Team GB athletics squad, goes in the 400m hurdles. Greene said: "When we see people celebrating with the flag everyone is given a positive buzz and can't help but be inspired."



The succession of podium finishes was accompanied by a resurgence for another Olympic great, Ben Ainslie, who closed the gap on Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen in their heated battle for the Finn-class gold.



Rebecca Adlington will seek to retain her 800m crown tonight after she dominated her semi-final yesterday morning in the Aquatics Centre.



In the boxing ring, Norfolk boxer Anthony Ogogo, 23, staged a major upset by beating the Ukrainian world No 1 Ievgen Khytrov to make the middleweight quarter-finals.



He said: "No one outside Team GB squad and my own friends and family thought I could win that fight but I was confident."



Britain also got off to a strong start in search of a first Olympic dressage medal, with riders occupying the top two spots after Thursday's grand prix at Greenwich Park.



The American swimmer Michael Phelps last night cemented his record as the most decorated Olympian by winning gold in the 200m individual medley – taking his Olympics haul to 16 golds, two silvers and two bronzes.



Banned racers overtaken by sadness



Victoria Pendleton, the most famous woman cyclist in the world and one of Britain's medal hopes, choked back tears after she and Jess Varnish broke the world record in their team sprint – and were promptly disqualified.



Pendleton overtook her teammate too early, outside of the permitted zone.



Pendleton has further races at these Games, but Varnish must wait for four years until Rio de Janeiro. Remarkably, the Chinese team went on to win the final but were then stripped of their gold medal for the same error – meaning that the Germans won by default.



Timeline: Another glorious day for Team GB



12.17 Men's lightweight four rowing team win silver to start the day's medal haul. South Africa take gold in controversial circumstances.



13.15 Andy Murray beats Nicolas Almagro to storm into the tennis men's singles semi-finals, where he will meet Novak Djokovic.



13.30 Ben Ainslie wins the day's first heat in sailing's Finn class category to close the 10-point gap on Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen in the rankings.



14.49 Gemma Gibbons is a surprise winner in the women's judo semi-finals by beating world champion Audrey Tcheuméo with an ippon.



14.56 Anthony Ogogo beats world No 1 middleweight boxer Ievgen Khytrov. Equal on points, the eight judges give him a majority verdict. The Ukrainian team appeal but are turned down.



15.00 Ben Ainslie comes third in the day's second heat. He is nowin second place overall behind Hogh-Christensen.



15.37 Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott take gold in the canoe men's double slalom. Britons Richard Hounslow and David Florence take silver.



15.41 Peter Wilson claims gold in the men's double trap shooting event.



16.11 Gemma Gibbons is beaten in the final by the USA's Kayla Harrison but wins a silver medal.



16.16 Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish break the women's sprint world record in cycling.



17.10 Pendleton and Varnish are disqualified. The final is won by China, who are then relegated to silver, handing Germany gold.



17.51 World record set by GB men's pursuit cyclists in qualifying round.



18.14 World record set by GB men's sprint cycling team on way to final.



18.54 Sir Chris Hoy takes a fifth gold as GB win the men's sprint cycling in a new world-record time.

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