Gymnast Max Whitlock headlined Great Britain’s relentless Super Sunday charge by hitting the top of the podium twice as the nation chalked up a stunning five gold medals on a glory-filled day yesterday.
Whitlock, who won all-around bronze on Wednesday, claimed Team GB’s first ever gymnastics gold in the men’s floor exercise and repeated the feat a matter of hours later in the pommel horse when he defeated team-mate Louis Smith.
The 23-year-old’s double success came either side of Justin Rose’s two-shot victory in the golf, while cyclist Jason Kenny beat fellow countryman Callum Skinner in the men’s sprint final to win his fifth Olympic gold.
Great Britain’s gold rush was boosted further by sailor Giles Scott, who is guaranteed first place in the men’s Finn class ahead of tomorrow’s medal race.
In addition to the silver medals claimed by Smith and Skinner, Nick Dempsey became the maiden male windsurfer to win three Olympic medals after finishing second in the RS:X class.
Great Britain swelled their overall tally of golds to 14 to move above China in the medals table, trailing only the United States, and on track for their overall Rio target of 48.
Whitlock opened the floodgates with his triumph in the men’s floor exercise and became an undisputed trailblazer after ending Team GB’s 120-year wait for a gymnastics gold.
“It was quite difficult to come for the second event,” said Whitlock. “I couldn’t take in what I had just done in the floor. That is history, which is incredible and makes it even more special for me.
“This has outdone all of my expectations and I am proud to say I have made history. The Olympic Games only come around once every four years and that is what makes it so special.
“That’s not me done. This motivates me to do even more in the sport.”
Bolton-rider Kenny has now won the same number of Olympic golds as Sir Steve Redgrave and fellow cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins after overcoming Skinner, his room-mate in the athletes’ village, in the first two races in the best-of-three final.
“It’s special, it’s really special,” said Kenny. “I’m really grateful, everyone works so hard for us. When we win it feels like the team is winning and we have everyone behind us, pushing us.”
Former US Open winner Rose ranked his gold – the first handed to a golfer in 108 years – as the highest accolade he could achieve within sport, having held off the challenge of Open champion Henrik Stenson.
“This feels better than any tournament I’ve ever won,” said Rose. “Representing Team GB and feeling like you’re bigger than just your individual sport is incredible.”
Scott is assured of a gold medal after gaining an unassailable lead, continuing Team GB’s dominance in the event with a fifth successive Olympic title. The 29-year-old finished eighth and second in his two races yesterday to head the field by 24 points.
Scott said: “We’ve had such amazing history in the Finn since 2000 with Iain Percy winning and then Ben Ainslie so to put my name alongside theirs is a very special feeling.”