At the Velodrome cyclists Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh held onto their men’s team pursuit title before Victoria Pendleton got over her earlier disappointment in the team sprint event by winning the inaugural women’s keirin with a great finish on Day Seven of the Games.
Team GB’s current medal total stands at 22 with 8 Gold Medals, 6 Silver and 8 Bronze. The team’s Gold medal total was helped today by a great performance from Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins who took the gold with a great victory in the double sculls. Grainger said: “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.
“It’s off the back of everyone I’ve ever worked with, everyone I’ve ever rowed with, everyone who’s helped me going back to my family who were there from the beginning, to my friends at school, university.
“Every single person’s been a part of this and it makes the medal seem so much more special.”
After her double gold medal performance at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Rebecca Adlington looked upset after she could only manage a bronze medal in the final of the 800m freestyle swimming event despite qualifying for the final with the fastest time.
Although there was no medal decided in her event today probably the biggest story of the day was the performance of Team GB’s golden girl Jessica Ennis. She started the day with an extraordinary performance in the 100m hurdles where her time of 12.54 seconds broke the British record for the event. Let’s be clear about that we are not talking about the heptathlon record but the time for the main 100m hurdles event. If Jess had run today’s time at the last Olympics then she would have shared the gold medal for the 100m hurdles with US athlete Dawn Harper.
Talking about today’s hurdles performance Jess said: “I’m speechless. When I crossed the line I had to double-check. I knew it would be a quick race but I still cannot believe I ran that time.
“Just stepping into the stadium the crowd really lifted me and got me that great time. I’m disappointed I didn’t get another height but 1.86m is not too bad – I’m still a few points up.”
The scene is set for a tense, exciting day in the heptathlon tomorrow with the final 3 events long jump, javelin and 800m all taking place in the Olympic Stadium. Although Jess goes into the 2nd day with a good lead the 1st day has normally been her stronger day so there are still plenty of threats to her gold coming from a number of other athletes including World Champion Tatyana Chernova and the reigning Olympic Champion Natalyia Dobrynska.
It was also a great day for another British heptathlete with 19-year old Katarina Johnson-Thompson looking amazed by the size and enthusiasm of the mainly British crowd. The atmosphere plainly suited her as she pulled out a number of personal best performances including a high jump of 1.89m which was the 2nd best jump of the entire field.