By Maria Hopwood
- Gold in swimming, canoe slalom and synchronised diving
- William Fox-Pitt recovers from horrific accident to compete
- Rowers keep up the hunt for medals
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After a slow start Team GB are beginning to achieve some great results, inspiring us with commitment and some stirring back stories.
Team GB got off to a slow start in the medal table in the first few days in Rio, but similarly to London four years, the medal tally is suddenly and impressively picking up speed. Along with the medals come inspiring stories of how these amazing sports men and women have got to this point in their careers, some of these are highlighted here.
Although Britain’s equestrian team missed out on a medal this year, coming fifth in the three day evening competition, a mention must go to Olympic stalwart, William Fox-Pitt. A three time Olympic medallist, Fox Pitt suffered a serious fall in the World Young Horse Championships ten months ago and was placed in an induced coma.
Beginning the Olympics with a flourish he was leading the field after the dressage, but was unable to continue that form. However, for Fox Pitt, just being able to be in Rio was a fantastic effort after everything he has been through.
Rio’s rowers are having a frustrating time as a full second day of competition was cancelled, due to high winds and choppy waters. When the rowing regatta resumes Team GB are again in contention for medals with Heather Standing and Helen Glover through to the semi-finals.
Also in contention for another Olympic medal is Katherine Grainger, who has reached the double skulls final in her fifth Olympics, with partner Victoria Thornley. Grainger took a two year sabbatical after finally winning gold at London 2012, but is back with a vengeance to win gold again this year.
In total Team GB have six boats through to rowing finals so far, continuing the tradition of rowing excellence in Olympic competition.
Also on the water, canoe slalom gold was won by Joe Clarke in the kayak K1 event, after qualifying for the final as third fastest. To win gold he posted a time of 88.53 seconds, beating his Slovenian and Czech counterparts.
In the diving arena an amazing performance by Jack Laugher and Chris Mears, in the 3m synchronised spring board event, saw them win gold on an exciting evening in Rio. It was a particularly sweet moment for Mears, who caught the Epstein Barr virus in 2009 and was given a 5% chance of surviving his ordeal.
Another diving success came in the form of Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow earlier in the week, winning bronze 10m synchronised diving event (before the water controversially turned green!) Daley and Goodfellow narrowly beat the German team to the bronze medal position, earning Team GB their fourth medal of the games.
For Daley the win is seen as an important step in helping him to achieve solo diving success in his third Olympics. However, for Goodfellow the medal was a fantastic achievement after almost quitting the sport in 2014 due to injury.
Thanks to a specialist he first saw on Christmas Eve 2014,Goodfelow has made an impressive come back, teaming up with Tom Daley to win a European silver medal in May this year before competing together in Rio.
GB’s swimmers, hoping to improve on the disappointing number of medals won at London 2012, have got off to a great start. Adam Peaty won gold in the 100m breaststroke, whilst also amazingly breaking the world record and earning GB their first swimming gold since the Seoul Olympics in 1998. For anyone scared of water, take inspiration from Peaty who admits to being so terrified of water as a child he even dreaded baths!
Alongside Peaty’s gold are two silver medals won by Siobhan-Marie O’Connor in the 200 individual medley and the men’s team in the 4x200m freestyle relay. A great improvement on the London 2012 showing.
Keep up with the action with our Rio 2016 Live Blog
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