Gold medals from Laura Trott, Jason Kenny and Giles Scott helped Team GB secure their best medal haul at an away Olympic Games as the Rio 2016 total reaches 50.
Medals continued to rain in for Team GB in the velodrome, with four more coming on a dramatic final night, which saw Laura Trott and Jason Kenny both win gold.
Trott dominated the women’s omnium, coming first or second in each of the first five events before marking her nearest rivals Sarah Hammer (USA) and Jolien d’Hoore (Belgium) to ensure the gold.
“What I did at London 2012 was incredible and I was so so proud. So to come back and to it again is unbelievable,” she said.
“To see people that I idolise like Sir Chris and my fiancé Jason [Kenny] back it up in London made me think ‘how on earth do these people do this?’ going from such highs to the lows of the world championships to destroy everybody once again. So for me to come here and do the same, honestly I’m just so proud.”
Kenny, meanwhile, took his third gold of the Games to match Sir Chris Hoy’s record of six.
The Bolton sprinter mirrored Hoy’s Beijing performance by adding the keirin title to his team and individual sprint golds.
“I was there in Beijing when Chris rocketed to stardom,” said Kenny. “He was already an Olympic champion, but when he won those three medals, to me it was really special. To be doing the same thing eight years later is an incredible feeling.”
It wasn’t all about the golden couple Kenny and Trott, though as Becky James and Katy Marchant pushed Team GB’s track cycling medal tally to 11 from nine events, winning silver and bronze respectively in the women’s sprint.
James beat her keirin vanquisher Elis Ligtlee (Netherlands) in the semi-final to set up a clash with Kristina Vogel (Germany), who beat Marchant.
But James went down 2-0 to Vogel to take silver, while Marchant ousted Ligtlee to claim her first Olympic medal, having only switched to cycling from heptathlon in 2013.
“It was a massive thing for me to get selected and I really had to prove myself in training and competitions we were doing locally to get the coaches on my side. To tonight be walking away with a bronze medal, I just cannot believe it,” Marchant said.
James, who has suffered with multiple injuries since winning the keirin world title in 2013, rode away with her second silver of the Games.
“I have come here in the form of my life. Two silvers and an Olympic record will be something that sticks in the memory,” she said.
Giles Scott officially won Team GB’s first sailing gold of the Games after clinching second-place in the medal race of the Finn class.
The 29-year old, who has won the past three World Championships, had already sewn up the title in Rio, accruing enough points in the opening ten races that his score could not be surpassed in the final race of the competition.
But Scott ensured he took his maiden Olympic title in style, finishing behind USA's Caleb Paine on the day to win Team GB’s fifth consecutive Finn gold.
“It’s been a huge luxury because there’s not many times when you can say you’ve won an Olympic Games before the medal race,” said Scott.
“We knew coming here to Rio that the racing wasn’t going to be easy. Regardless of form it was always going to be a hard week and it certainly was that.
“I had a particularly shaky start but managed to pull through some good consistency and to win it the way I have, I couldn’t ask for it any other way”
British 470 pair Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills will also land gold if they avoid a penalty in tomorrow’s medal race.
Having slipped from first to second in the 470 medal race at London 2012, the Brits are within touching distance of redemption in Rio, after finishing third, second and third in their three races.
Alain Sign and Dylan Fletcher were the other Brits to stand out on the day, moving up to fourth in the 49er class, with a ten point deficit to recover to reach the podium in Thursday’s medal race.
Amy Tinkler and Nile Wilson ensured the British gymnastics medal rush continued at Rio 2016 with bronze medals in their respective floor and high bar finals.
Tinkler, the youngest member of Team GB at Rio 2016, was already the first British woman to make a floor final and produced a fantastic routine to claim score of 14.933 to lead the standings.
The 16-year-old was pushed down into third after the phenomenal Simone Biles (15.966) of the United States took her fourth gold of Rio 2016 and compatriot Alexandra Raisman (15.000) - the defending champion - picked up silver.
“I can’t believe it. I knew I was Team GB’s youngest athlete but this is crazy and I’m still in shock at the minute,” said Tinkler.
More history quickly followed in the session as Wilson became the first British athlete to win an Olympic medal in the high bar less than an hour later.
The 20-year-old put in a superb performance to score 15.466, bettered only by Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen, who took gold with 15.766, and Danell Leyva of the USA who took silver with 15.500.
The two bronze medals at Rio 2016 moved Team GB’s total in the sport to seven – six artistic and one trampoline.
“It is a dream come true,” said Wilson. “It is something you train your whole life for and you dream about wearing these medals around your neck.”
Jack Laugher completed a remarkable diving double in Rio as he added 3m individual silver to his synchro gold to officially put Team GB on 50 medals.
Laugher began his second Olympic campaign in perfect style claiming gold in the 3m synchro with best friend Chris Mears and returned four days later to start his individual medal bid.
The 21-year-old advanced out of the preliminary in seventh but suffered an almighty scare in the semi-final of the 3m springboard, scraping through to the final as the 12th and final qualifier.
Laugher dropped three of his dives in the semi-final in the morning but executed nearly all six in the final perfectly in the evening, three scoring over 90, as he claimed silver with a 523.85.
Silver for Laugher marks Britain’s third diving medal at the Games with Tom Daley and Goodfellow winning 10m synchro bronze.
“I came out [in the final] and did my best and it really has paid off with a fantastic performance and something to remember for the rest of my life,” said Laugher.
“It was my personal worst score since London 2012 where I actually failed a dive. It was a bit of a shocker; 60 points less than I have scored in ages.
“I had luck on my side and I was in that final and that was when I could really let loose, there was no pressure, no nerves it was just me on the diving board and that is it.
“My coach tried to turn the semi-final performance into a positive and make me feel good about it. He said I would be able to apply pressure to the field which I think I did, my first dive was good and after that I had some really good dives.”
Joshua Buatsi became Team GB's first boxing medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by securing light heavyweight bronze on a day where three British medals were guaranteed in the ring.
The 23-year-old Londoner’s medal was confirmed after a semi-final 3:0 points defeat to Kazakhstan's Adilbek Niyazymbetov, with all losing boxing semi-finalists awarded a bronze medal.
Nicola Adams guaranteed herself another Olympic medal as she progressed to semi-finals of women's flyweight while super heavyweight Joe Joyce will also collect at least a bronze medal after reaching the last four in the category.
But it was Buatsi who is first of the boxers to confirm the colour of his medal and despite the achievement; he admitted he would have liked to have made the gold medal match.
“I’m disappointed but a bronze medal surpasses all expectations,” he said.
“Once I got here and I was winning, I was aiming for gold and nothing else but coming out no one expected a medal. I did the hard work and I gave it my best shot.”
An early failed attempt cost Robbie Grabarz a medal in the high jump final as he finished fourth on countback.
The 28-year old cleared 2.33m at his first attempt in the final, matching the effort of Ukrainian bronze medallist Bohdan Bondarenko.
But having failed his first attempt at 2.25m earlier in the competition, the Brit was demoted to fourth behind Bondarenko, who didn’t miss until after his successful 2.33m jump.
“It was my own mistake at 2.25m and that’s cost me a medal,” said Grabarz, who won bronze at London 2012.
“It’s a pretty upsetting and a frustrating place to be but Olympic fourth is still something to be pretty damn proud of.”
Laura Muir and Laura Weightman were Team GB’s only other finalists of the night, finishing seventh and 11th respectively in the 1500m.
Another four athletes secured spots in finals later in the week, including long jump pair Jazmin Sawyers and Lorraine Ugen, both making their Olympic debuts.
Ugen was seventh overall as she recorded a 6.65m effort while European silver medallist Sawyers took the 12th final spot with 6.53m jump.
Eilidh Doyle and Dina Asher-Smith also snuck into their respective finals as eighth fastest in the 400m hurdles and 200m.
Doyle, who won European gold in 2014, clocked 54.99 to go through while 20-year old European champion Asher-Smith progressed on 22.49.
Jack Burnell was cruelly denied a medal on his Olympic debut after being disqualified from the men’s 10km marathon swim at Fort Copacabana.
The European silver medallist was in the leading pack sprinting for home before he was held back by Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli.
While the Brit kicked out of Mellouli’s grip and recovered to touch in a photo finish for third, he was later disqualified for his role in the incident.
“It’s a double hit - disqualifying me and getting screwed over in the finish, "said Burnell.
"He was yellow carded for that which stopped me winning and I was disqualified for getting him off to try and win the race.
“I’m without a doubt one of the fastest finishers in there. We knew that coming into this. So that line was perfect for me. But it’s just all ruined. It’s four years of work down the drain – absolutely down the drain.
Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis will play Chinese pair Wei Hong and Biao Chai for the bronze medal after a semi-final defeat to another duo from China.
The British pair went down fighting to the hard hitting Haifeng Fu and Nan Zhang, who sealed their place in the gold medal match with a 21-14, 21-18 straight sets victory.
Ellis and Langridge fought back from a fast start from the Chinese pair in the first game, but ultimately went down 21-14 to the disciplined duo.
The second set was a closer affair, with the Brits taking it to 18-18, but three straight points was enough to send the Chinese through.
"It’s tough to go again after a defeat, because usually at a tournament once you’ve lost you’re out. To regroup and get back on the horse is quite strange," said Ellis.
“I’m still quite positive. Yes we probably didn’t perform how we wanted to today but they are a world class pair. We’re looking forward to the bronze match because it’s a pair we’ve never played before, so it’s something to get excited about."
Nick Skelton and Ben Maher will compete in the third qualification round of the showjumping after both finished in a tie for 30th.
Skelton and Maher both recorded four penalties at the National Equestrian Centre to with their four from the first qualification round as the top 45 riders safely made it through.
“I thought he jumped better today than yesterday,” said Maher. “We made a couple of changes as he was a bit strong first day but it was just one of those rounds where I don’t think I could have done any more.
“I felt my distance was good and I kept the right line for the water which was important.”
However there was disappointment for the Whitaker brothers as John ended up with 23 penalties to finish down in 57th while Michael’s horse Cassionato was withdrawn after the days competition with colic symptoms.
The foursome will also not compete in the final of the team event after they finished in 12th, outside the top eight needed to made the finals.
Jess Walker cannot wait for the women’s K4 500m to start in Rio – adamant the pressure of delivering in the event will spark her into life after her campaign individual campaign ended.
Walker was hoping for success in the women’s K1 200m prior to joining forces with teammates Rachel Cawthorn, Louisa Gurski and Rebekah Simon in the K4.
That didn’t materialise however as she failed to make the A final before finishing the B final in seventh but Walker remains confident for her next event.
“We will watch Rachel in the K1 [500m] and support her and whatever the outcome I know she is going to come out fighting [in the K4 500m], whether she wins, doesn’t win, she will still have a lot of fight,” said Walker.
“I have loads of confidence in the girls behind me and what I do in the front. This is what we have trained for so there is more pressure but maybe I thrive better off pressure. Maybe I would have done better if there was pressure on it.”
Meanwhile Angela Hannah and Lani Belcher were also seventh in the B final of the women’s K2 500m after failing to make the medal showdown on the iconic Lagoa.