Serial title winner Charlotte Dujardin provided Great Britain’s latest stellar gold medal-winning moment by retaining her Olympic crown with victory in the individual dressage at the Rio Games.
Despite containing just the solitary golden moment, the day was also pivotal for cyclist Mark Cavendish ending his quest for an Olympic medal with silver in the men’s omnium.
Dujardin became only the second British woman to win three Olympic golds, emulating the feat of cyclist Laura Trott after posting a 93.857 per cent routine aboard Valegro.
“I feel a little bit overwhelmed,” said a tearful Dujardin. “It means the absolute world to me to come out here and finish off being individual gold medallist again.
“I felt a huge amount of pressure and expectation. It could be one of my last rides on Valegro. There is talk of retirement for him so for me to finish it in this way, it’s a really emotional time and I’m so happy.”
Although Cavendish has 30 Tour de France stage wins, a Commonwealth gold and track and road World Championship successes to his name, Olympic recognition had, until Monday night, evaded the 31-year-old. Silver, however, did not tick all of his boxes.
“I have got an Olympic medal. It is really nice but gold would have finished the collection,” said Cavendish. “I did a pursuit yesterday and was unhappy I didn’t break the Olympic record. That’s just me.”
Burnley-born Sophie Hitchon, meanwhile, already has an eye on the future after throwing a new British record of 74.54m to snare bronze in the women’s hammer.
“To get a bronze medal, I’m over the moon,” said Hitchon. “I definitely want to go to Tokyo 2020 and we’ve got the world championships next year. Hopefully I can increase my personal best.”