GREAT Britain yesterday became canoeing, shooting and judo powers when an array of minority sports produced unpredictable successes to take Team GB up to fifth in the medal table.
Though the rowing silver from the men’s lightweight fours was ultimately less surprising, the two golds and silvers that followed in shooting, canoeing and judo was considerably less expected and inspired the momentum to produce Britain’s most triumphant day yet.
The quartet of Chris Bartley, Peter Chambers, Richard Chambers and Rob Williams produced what was yesterday Britain’s first medal, their third from rowing overall, and further success on the water was still yet to come.
Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie finished first for Britain’s first ever gold in the men’s doubles canoe slalom while the silver of training partners David Florence and Richard Hounslow would immediately follow.
Within a matter of minutes but miles away, Peter Wilson fired his final shot of a 188 out of 200 for a gold of his own in the men’s double trap and justifiably collapsed in a heap of emotion before Britain’s judo medallist thereafter emerged.
In reaching the under-78kg final against USA’s Kayla Harrison, Gemma Gibbons had secured Britain’s first judo medal since Sydney 2000 and lost only 2-0 to take silver in the close contest for gold.
Phelps helps himself to medal No20
USA’S swimming sensation Michael Phelps last night beat Ryan Lochte to win his first individual gold of London 2012 and the 20th Olympics medal of an illustrious career.
Phelps on Tuesday became the most decorated medallist in the history of the Games but is now also the first man to successfully twice defend an Olympic swimming crown after securing a title previously won in 2004 and 2008.
In tennis, British No1 Andy Murray won in both singles and, with Laura Robson, in mixed doubles matches and will today face Novak Djokovic.
For Team GB’s boxers, there was a win for Anthony Ogogo but a loss for Josh Taylor.