Team GB gold rush continues as records tumble

Today saw Britain take home five gold, eight silver and three bronze medals

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The Independent Online

There were more gold medals and world records today as British Paralympians were cheered on by sell-out crowds - as the nation takes the Games to its heart.

The Games is expected to welcome its millionth visitor on Tuesday, and record TV audiences have prompted Channel 4 to clear its day-time schedule to boost coverage.

Nearly three million people tuned in last night to see 17-year-old darling of the pool Ellie Simmonds smash the world record to win gold in a sensational 400m freestyle race.

Jay Hunt, the broadcaster's chief creative officer, said: "The coverage of the Paralympics has completely captured the public's imagination. We are clearing our schedule to bring viewers even more of this fantastic sport."

Around 10,000 extra tickets are being bought every day as soon as they go on sale, as Paralympic venues experience unprecedented numbers of visitors.

"The whole of the UK has taken the Games to its heart," a Locog spokesman said.

"As soon as tickets have been released, they have been snapped up."

Today saw another hugely successful haul for Britain in cycling, rowing, dressage, swimming and athletics.

Paralympians are well ahead of schedule in the targeted medal tally of 103 - having almost reached the half-way point after just four days.

Today saw Britain take home six five, six silver and one bronze medals.

The day got off to a winning start at Eton Dorney, as David Smith, James Roe, Naomi Riches, Pam Relph and cox Lily van den Broecke won gold in the mixed coxed four.

They were cheered on by the Duchess of Cambridge, who was later expected to take her seat in the Olympic stadium.

Welshman Aled Davies, 21, later declared himself "the happiest guy on the planet right now" after winning gold in the discus.

There was a dramatic finale to the action in the velodrome in an all-British gold medal contest, which saw Anthony Kappes and Craig MacLean beat Neil Fachie and Barney Storey in the sprint.

Teenage swim sensation Jessica-Jane Applegate, who has just celebrated her 16th birthday, said she was "on cloud nine" after landing gold in the 200m freestyle.

Britain also won gold in the team dressage event Deborah Criddle, Sophie Wells, Lee Pearson and Sophie Christiansen, who also won gold in the single Grade 1A event.

There are expected to be further wins tonight in the pool and Olympic Stadium, where David Weir goes for gold in the 5000m wheelchair race.

And tomorrow, Simmonds will be back in the pool as she goes for her second gold of the games in the 200m individual medley.

Her "euphoric" dad Steve said he could barely contain his excitement during yesterday's thrilling race.

He said she would be calm and collected before tomorrow's race, postponing her celebrations until after the Games.

"I was jumping up and down and making a complete idiot of myself in the last 50m," he added.

"Val was the same. We had a quick hug and wanted to burst. We are just glad and relieved she did it.

"We floated back. We have been euphoric."

Britain's medal tally currently stands at 52, with 14 gold, 24 silver and 14 bronze medals.

The Duchess of Cambridge made a guest appearance in the Olympic stadium to present a gold medal to proud discus hero Davies.

The Welshman was overcome with emotion and beamed with pride as Kate hung the medal around his neck before singing the national anthem.