Previous to now, we’ve done Team GB roundups each day. Today however, is too big a day for just one article. There was so much excitement this morning and this afternoon, that I had to start writing.
Britain’s world number 1, David Florence, was disappointingly poor on Tuesday. Today was his chance for redemption, in the C2, the two-man canoe event. He and Richard Hounslow made it into the final as the fastest, while the other British pair Tim Bailie and Etienne Stott qualified in fifth. Bailie and Stott stormed down the course, coping brilliantly with the upstream gates and driving hard to the finish lane to record the fastest time of all. With the four faster qualifiers to come, it seemed unlikely that they would remain on top of the pile, but the Chinese, the French, and the Slovakians all came and went without being able to overcome the British pair. The final team to go were British as well. David Florence described it as the hardest startline of his life.the noise of the stadium, and knowing that Britain had won a gold medal, but whose would it be? They led at both time checks, but as they crossed the finish line, and the crowd went wild. A glance up at the scoreboard told them it was the other Brits whose time was too quick, but Florence and Hounslow had secured a historic one-two.
We had already seen an unbelievable silver medal from the lightweight men’s four. The crew were in fact slight favourites for the gold, but got off to a slow start, and overhauled the Danes to claim the silver, but were pipped to gold by the South Africans by less than half a second. The other British boats also qualified for their finals, completing the set of 13 boats entered, and 13 qualifications for finals. There are more medals in them there waters, that’s for sure.
Britian also increased their medal tally on dry land. Peter Wilson, at 25 years old, won the men’s double trap, holding his nerve after a wobble cut his lead from 4 to 2 with just 16 clays left. After hitting both targets on his final round, he sank to his knees and was engulfed by his coach. Even I had a lump in my throat, when during a very composed interview, his voice broke shouting “Dad!” as his father ran into the press area.
In addition to all this success, Gemma Gibbons won Britain’s first judo medal for 12 years, reaching the final, where she lost, but nevertheless celebrated a silver medal. Her partner Euan Burton will now have some to smile about, after he was left distraught after his own defeat. Finally, I hope you heeded my advice and watched Anthony Agogo’s fight against the world number 1. The points were tied, the count back was a tie, and Agogo got the judges decision, and now has a great chance at an Olympic medal. And this all in the space of 4 hours. There’s cycling and swimming to come…my goodness what a day.