Great Britain made it three gold medals in the swimming pool for the first time since the 1908 Games in London as the men’s 4x200m freestyle team destroyed the field, almost breaking the world record in a dominant victory.
Individual gold and silver medallists Tom Dean and Duncan Scott were joined by James Guy and 18-year-old Matt Richards as they took gold by more than three seconds, ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee and Australia.
Britain’s men’s quadruple sculls crew brightened what had been another rough morning on the water with Team GB’s first rowing medal of these Games. Tom Barras, Jack Beaumont, Harry Leask and Angus Groom went into the final ranked fifth but rowed a great race to grab silver.
Their fortunes were in stark contrast to the men’s four, who fell to pieces in a bizarre final 100m and missed out on a medal entirely in a race Britain had won at every Games since 2000, with the women’s four and men’s double sculls also finishing fourth.
The morning got better for Britain as it wore on, however, as Imogen Craig and Emily Grant won their semi-final in the women’s lightweight double sculls before Helen Glover kept her dreams of a third Olympic gold medal alive by qualifying in second in the women’s pair alongside Polly Swann.
Great Britain’s hopes of improving on their Rio silver medal in the men’s rugby sevens are over after they were thumped 29-7 by New Zealand in the semi-finals.
The Brits will now face Argentina in the bronze medal match later on Wednesday morning, with defending champions Fiji battling New Zealand for gold.