- Two more golds will see Team GB surpass Beijing haul
- Host nation on course for best medal performance in 100 years
- Two thirds of first 37 medals came from ‘sitting down sports’
04:10 EST, 7 August 2012
06:46 EST, 7 August 2012
Great Britain could today record its biggest Olympic gold medal haul for over a century.
After scooping 19 golds in 2008 at Beijing, the host nation will surpass that total with just two more first place finishes.
With gold medal contenders including Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy still to make individual quests for glory, Team GB could well be on for its best Games performance in 100 years.
Sitting on top of the world: Alex Gregory, Pete Reed, Tom James and Andrew Triggs Hodge celebrate gold medal glory in the men’s coxless fours at Eton Dorney on Saturday
Britain’s Ben Ainslie, another ‘king of the sitting down sports’ waves the Union Jack after his sailing gold on Sunday
Equestrian star Ben Maher, who helped Team GB win gold yesterday, and cycling queen Victoria Pendleton have also contributed to Britain’s success in ‘sitting down sports’
And after two thirds of Britain’s medals were claimed in seated sports such as cycling, rowing, and horse riding, many have begun to declare Great Britain as ‘king of the sitting down sports’.
Hundreds of thousands of fans will be hoping British victories in the triathlon, dressage and cycling will boost Team GB’s gold medal haul past the 19 achieved in Beijing four years ago.
It was another triumphant day yesterday with cyclist Jason Kenny in the individual sprint and 54-year-old Nick Skelton, together with the rest of the showjumping team, keeping up the gold rush.
Record haul: Great Britain need just a handful more medals to surpass their efforts in Beijing. Each left-hand bar shows the 2008 medal totals, while the right hand bars show the London 2012 medal haul as of yesterday
On the way: Britain need just two more golds to surpass the total of 19 they collected in Beijing
Yesterday confirmed Britain’s standing in third place in the medal table, some seven golds ahead of nearest rivals South Korea, and with 11 silver and 11 bronze they are 18 in front in total.
If they can maintain that position ahead of Sunday’s closing ceremony it will be the best finish since 1920.
it’s the turn of cycling stars Vicky Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy to
head the cast going for glory as Britain carries on going Games crazy —
more than 20 million watched on television as Usain Bolt won Sunday
night’s explosive 100metres final.
Pendleton bids to sign off with a second gold medal of London 2012 in the women’s sprint that would make her Britain’s most successful female Olympian with three gold medals.
Sir Chris Hoy also goes for gold tonight in the men’s keirin knowing victory would see him climb above Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain’s most successful Olympian with six gold medals.
‘We’re phenomenally proud of them,’ Brailsford told BBC Breakfast. ‘They’ve been the backbone of British track cycling for a long time.
‘This could be the very last competition for Vicky so it’s quite a sad day for us in that respect.
‘I do think she deserves special mention.
‘She has worked so hard in the last three years to bring herself up to this level of competition.’
Brailsford is understandably pleased with Britain’s medal haul going into the final day of track cycling competition, with five track golds and one bronze already in the bag.
‘It’s been great so far. We’ve three medals available today and we’re ready for them. I hope by the end of today we might have three more.’
Laura Trott is the third British rider eyeing a gold medal tonight as she completes the omnium, and Brailsford also singled her out for praise.
‘Laura is a bundle of energy. She’s got this contagious enthusiasm.
‘She’s a brilliant bike rider and it would be great if she can finish off the job today.’
Statistics revealed that of Team GB’s first 37 medals, 66 per cent were in sitting down sports.
performances in equestrian, sailing, rowing and cycling have all
contributed to Team GB’s impressive third place standing in the overall
By contrast, the two leading nations, China and the USA, both excel in non-sitting down sports.
At the same stage the two nations had over 121 medals – with a sitting down element of just 7 per cent.
NINE IN TEN BRITONS WATCHING GAMES AS OLYMPIC FEVER SWEEPS UK
Almost nine out of 10 people in the UK have watched some coverage of the London 2012 Olympics, officials said today.
More than 50.572 million people, some 88% of the total number of people living in the UK, have tuned in as Britain closes in on its best Games in more than a century, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said.
Timo Lumme, of the IOC’s television marketing services, said: ‘I think London 2012 heralds a new era in Olympic broadcasting.’
Glued to the screen: Supporters by the big screen in the Olympic Park, just some of the tens of millions who have tuned in to London 2012 across Britain
There are likely to be more than 100,000 hours of television footage of the Games, compared with 61,000 hours for Beijing four years ago, he said.
Digital output, online and on mobile phones, is also expected to exceed the amount of television footage for the first time, he added.
He said organisers believe London 2012 broadcasts will reach ‘more viewers than ever before’, with a global reach of 4.8 billion across every country in the world.