UK markets closed
  • NIKKEI 225

    -660.34 (-2.17%)

    +122.40 (+0.51%)

    +0.16 (+0.23%)

    +13.90 (+0.79%)
  • DOW

    +106.56 (+0.31%)

    -1,116.55 (-3.46%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -1.44 (-0.14%)
  • ^IXIC

    +58.19 (+0.40%)
  • ^FTAS

    +42.11 (+1.06%)

Team GB make best start to an Olympic Games in modern times

·4-min read
<span>Photograph: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Team GB have now made their greatest start to an Olympic Games in modern times after winning a fourth gold medal in four days in Tokyo. Further success in the pool, gym, taekwondo, triathlon and dressage on Tuesday pushed their tally to 13 overall – although fans were advised not to get carried away with thoughts of leaping beyond the 67 medals won at Rio 2016 quite yet.

The latest golden moment came in the form of swimmer Tom Dean winning the men’s 200m freestyle title after an epic battle with fellow Briton Duncan Scott, who claimed silver.

It was the first time two British male swimmers had shared an Olympic podium in more than 110 years, and what made the story even more extraordinary was that Dean, 21, had caught Covid twice during the build-up to these Games.

It was a close run thing, mind. Dean was third entering the last 50 metres but a powerful finish ended with him touching the wall just 0.04sec ahead of his teammate. “I knew it was going to be a dogfight, I didn’t know how people were going to swim it, just race the race and that’s how it is,” he said.

Another British athlete to overcome difficulties in the build-up to these Games was the triathlete Georgia Taylor-Brown, who revealed after winning triathlon silver that she had spent two weeks on crutches after suffering a stress response in her femur and been forced to take a fitness test before flying to Tokyo because of her injury.

Georgia Taylor-Brown poses on the podium after taking silver in the women&#x002019;s individual triathlon competition.
Georgia Taylor-Brown poses on the podium after taking silver in the women’s individual triathlon competition. Photograph: Loïc Venance/AFP/Getty Images

“I kept it all a bit private, what was going on,” she said. “I got a stress response in my femur 12 weeks ago so that was a bit of a shock. My training had gone so well before then, though, so I knew I had all that in the bag. You don’t want to show your competitors your weaknesses and so I did just say I was ill.”

To make matters worse she also picked up a puncture on the bike in the middle part of the race – but was able to win a medal with a powerful run.

With a population of just 63,000, Bermuda became the smallest nation or territory to win an Olympic gold medal at a summer Games through Flora Duffy, who beat Taylor-Brown by 74 seconds.

Speaking on Tuesday, Sally Munday, the chief executive of UK Sport, said: “It has been wonderful to see Team GB athletes winning medals in the early stages of the Games. I send my congratulations to all of them – and to all our competitors, who have made their families and communities so proud.

“It has been a great start, but we are not getting carried away. However, once again we have been reminded how the extraordinary sporting moments we see at the Olympics engage and inspire people in all corners of the UK.”

Meanwhile Charlotte Dujardin won a record-equalling fifth Olympic medal as Great Britain took bronze in the team dressage final at Tokyo Equestrian Park. The 36-year-old, the reigning individual champion, Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry finished third behind the Olympic title holders, Germany, and the US.

Riding the major championship debutant Gio, Dujardin anchored her team’s performance, posting a score of 2,617 points. “I knew I had to go some, and I was really pleased with Gio,” she said. “He is so inexperienced. I was absolutely thrilled with him. He is only 10 years old and what he has delivered here, I can’t ask for any more.”

There was also a surprise women’s team gymnastics medal for the Team GB squad of Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova, Amelie Morgan and Alice Kinsella, who won a first women’s team Olympic bronze medal since 1928.

“I never thought this was possible but it is,” said Jessica. “It has gone beyond what I ever expected and I am just speechless. I don’t know what to say and feel, it is just incredible.”

Her twin, Jennifer, added: “She means the world to me, she is everything. She has been with me since the second we touched this earth and to experience this medal with her is amazing. Making history and putting our names out there, we are stronger together really.”

However, Bianca Walkden was less impressed with her own performance after winning her second consecutive Olympic bronze medal with a 7-3 victory over Poland’s Aleksandra Kowalczuk in the 67kg category in taekwondo.

“I’m glad I came away with an Olympic medal but it was not the colour I trained for or expected,” said Walkden, who also won bronze in Rio in 2016. “I feel a little bit dead inside and it’s killing me. It’s a medal just not the colour I wanted, I might paint it over when I get it home, no one has to know.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting