London 2012: Officials says Team GB's medal haul has just begun


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The Independent Online

Olympic officials say that Britain will win more medals and that optimism remains high among among athletes despite the poor show so far.

They issued an upbeat message amid growing disappointment that the home nation has won only three medals — none of them gold — after the first three days.

After finishing fourth in Beijing, Team GB have got off to a slow start in London, sitting 20th in the medals table with two silver medals and two bronzes.

But a spokesman for the British Olympic Association said: “We are very comfortable with where we are. It was a great accomplishment by the gymnasts last night in winning the first [men’s team] medal for 100 years. There are big days ahead and optimism is high.”

A medal rush could start later this week with finals coming up in the rowing — with gold medal hopes including pairs sculler Katherine Grainger, who is in record form with partner Anna Watkins and hopes to claim the title on Friday after three consecutive silver medals — and sailing and events getting under way in the velodrome. Britain is widely regarded as having the world’s strongest track cycling team.

Team GB claimed its third medal yesterday with that bronze in the men’s gymnastic team competition following a 400 metre swimming bronze for Rebecca Adlington and silver for Lizzie Armitstead in the women’s cycling road race.

But the Games got off to a disappointing start when world champion sprinter Mark Cavendish failed to make the podium in the men’s cycling road race. Yesterday, in a disappointing day at the aquatic centre, Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield came fourth in the 10m synchronised diving and outside chance Liam Tancock came fifth in the 100m backstroke. Britain hopes to equal its performance in Beijing, where only superpowers China, the US and Russia finished ahead of it.

Some pundits have suggested the home nation could even achieve third place. However, as it stands France is third in the table with three golds after making a good start. China is top with 17 medals, including nine gold, with the US second.