Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rio Medal Surge Takes Team GB to New Heights

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rio Medal Surge Takes Team GB to New Heights

Article excerpt

WHEN Richard Kruse fell agonisingly short of winning a fencing medal on the first full day of the Rio Olympics, few could have envisaged the British gold rush to come.

Within hours, Adam Peaty had swept the Olympic title in the aquatics centre beginning a surge of success which would only stop when the total haul from London 2012 had been eclipsed.

At times it was tough to keep track of the medal tally which would end in only two sports, rowing and modern pentathlon, falling short of the quota set by funding body UK Sport.

The British cycling team shrugged off a controversial build-up to the Games by sweeping to glory in the velodrome, Sir Bradley Wiggins snaring a record eighth Olympic medal and Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, with five between them, anointed the nation's golden couple.

If Peaty's success in the pool was only to be expected after a dominant season, other gold medals were less so. Joe Clarke's canoeing gold came one day after his more heavily fancied team-mate, David Florence, had finished 10th and last in his C1 final.

Move over Tom Daley, Britain celebrated a new diving hero in Ripon's Jack Laugher, who took springboard gold alongside team-mate Chris Mears then went on to win an individual 3m silver.

Miracles happened in the gymnastics hall, where Max Whitlock won bronze in the prestigious men's allaround, before winning Britain's first gold in the men's floor final - returning less than two hours later to make it a double on the men's pommel, where he nudged team-mate Louis Smith into second place.

Andy Murray and Justin Rose rubbished suggestions their sports have no place on the Olympic programme, with the Scot adding to his Wimbledon title with a thrilling final win over Juan Martin Del Potro, and Rose a worthy winner of a golf tournament stripped of most of its star names due to unfounded health fears. …

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