Team GB close in on Beijing gold haul

 

Great Britain claimed two more Olympic gold medals this afternoon as they edged to within one of the 19 they won in Beijing four years ago.

The hosts continued to dominate in the velodrome as Jason Kenny claimed the men's sprint, while the showjumpers won gold in the team competition.

There was a dramatic finale at Greenwich Park as Britain and Holland finished tied after two rounds of jumping.

All four team members - Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Peter Charles - then rode again in front of a capacity 23,000 crowd.

And Skelton (Big Star), Maher (Tripple X III) and Charles (Vindicat) jumped clear to land gold, leaving Holland with silver, while Saudi Arabia clinched bronze.

In the Olympic Park, Kenny fully justified his sprint selection ahead of 2008 champion Sir Chris Hoy with his second gold of the Games and third of his career.

Kenny's previous two Olympic gold medals came in the team sprint alongside Hoy, but now the 24-year-old from Bolton is an individual champion after a superb 2-0 final victory over three-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France.

Victoria Pendleton's Olympic odyssey was set to continue into the final day of the London track programme after she advanced to the semi-finals of the women's sprint.

Defending champion and six-time world sprint champion Pendleton advanced with a 2-0 best-of-three quarter-final win over Olga Panarina of Belarus.

Laura Trott won her second event in the women's omnium with victory in the elimination race.

The result restored the 20-year-old world champion to the top of the standings going into the final day on Tuesday.

Beth Tweddle won bronze on the uneven bars at the North Greenwich Arena in her last Olympic Games.

The 27-year-old is Britain's most successful gymnast, with three world, six European, seven British and now one Olympic medal to her name.

Russia's Aliya Mustafina claimed gold with a score of 16.133, ahead of defending Olympic champion He Kexin of China who took silver on 15.933, with Tweddle's 15.916 earning her bronze.

Kristian Thomas finished in eighth place in the men's vault despite a huge first effort as he failed to land his second to average a total of 15.533.

Nicola Adams became the second Great Britain boxer after Luke Campbell to guarantee at least a bronze medal after a comprehensive 16-7 win over Stoyka Petrova in her flyweight quarter-final.

Natasha Jonas put up a brave fight against Ireland's seemingly invincible four-time world champion Katie Taylor before the Irishwoman's power and accuracy saw her book at least a bronze with a clear 26-15 victory.

And there was big disappointment for Britain's reigning world champion Savannah Marshall who suffered a shock 16-12 defeat in her opening bout against Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan.

In the Olympic Stadium this morning Lawrence Okoye proved his medal credentials with an impressive final throw in discus qualifying.

The 20-year-old produced a throw of 65.28 metres with his third attempt, the fourth furthest of the morning, to go through to the final automatically.

Brett Morse and Abdul Bukhari failed to make it through to the final, the former registering only one legal throw of 58.18m and the latter having a best of 60.08m.

Tiffany Porter qualified for the semi-finals of the 100 metres hurdles as she finished third in her heat in 12.79 seconds, 0.08secs behind winner Alina Talay of Belarus.

Andrew Osagie, the world indoor 800m bronze medallist, lived very dangerously as he claimed the third place needed to progress in his race by 0.03secs.

Gareth Warburton and Michael Rimmer both went out.

All three of Britain's women's 1,500m runners advanced to the semi-finals, with Hannah England, Lisa Dobriskey and Laura Weightman all safely through.

Defending Olympic champion Tim Brabants sneaked into the final of the men's canoe sprint by only four hundredths of a second at Lee Valley.

In the men's C1 1000 metres, Richard Jefferies failed to make it through to the 'A' final and will race off for fifth to eighth place on Wednesday.

In the women's K4 500 metres, Jess Walker, Rachel Cawthorn, Angela Hannah and Louise Sawers made it through to Wednesday's final.

In the sailing off Weymouth, Ali Young finished fifth overall in the Laser Radial after coming home fourth in the medal race this morning, while Paul Goodison finished seventh in the Laser after coming third in his final contest.

Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell moved within a point of Australian pair Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page in the men's 470 class.

The British duo got a bullet - sailing terminology for victory - in the first race and then a sixth, which is automatically discarded as it is their worst result of the regatta so far.

Meanwhile, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes sit fifth overall in the 49er fleet heading into Wednesday's medal race.

The pair had a 17th and seventh today, leaving them six points off Denmark who occupy bronze medal position.

Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have mathematically secured gold in the 49er class, while New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are assured of silver.

Shooting duo James Huckle and Jonathan Hammond bowed out of the Games after failing to make the final of the 50m rifle three positions.

Ed Ling also failed to make the final of the men's trap.

There was good news in the Aquatics Centre as Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici qualified in ninth for the duet to become the first British representatives in an Olympic synchronised swimming final for 20 years.

The men's basketball team ended their campaign with a 90-58 victory over China while their handball counterparts lost 41-24 to Iceland and the volleyball team lost 3-0 - 25-18 25-18 25-15 - to Argentina.

PA

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