The Rio Round-Up: Day 5

Golds for synchro divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears and slalom canoeist Joe Clarke led a medal packed day as Team GB doubled their haul at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Team GB Rio 2016 Medal Tally: Gold: 3. Silver: 3. Bronze: 6. Total: 12

Jack Laugher and Chris Mears came through an almighty battle to become Team GB’s first diving champions in the history of the Olympic Games after the men’s 3m synchro final.

Joe Clarke stormed to Team GB’s second gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following a sensational run in the final of the men’s K1 canoe slalom that simply overwhelmed his rivals.

The 23-year-old was considered an outside medal chance but held nothing back after reaching the final and a faultless run and time of 88.53 seconds propelled him into the gold medal slot.

A medal was guaranteed with just two more athletes to go but neither Slovakia's Peter Kauzer nor Jiri Prskavec of the Czech Republic could get ahead of the Brit and had to settle for silver and bronze respectively as Clarke held onto top spot on the podium.

The win makes Clarke the first ever British athlete to take gold in the men’s K1 as well as the first to claim a medal in the event since Campbell Walsh picked up silver back at Athens 2004.

“I went out on that final run, laid it all on the line, put my all out there and that was enough to come away with the Olympic gold medal,” he said.

“When I crossed the line and knew I had a bronze I was absolutely ecstatic. It got even better when that upgraded to a silver and then upgraded to a gold.

“Joe Clarke, Olympic Champion. Joe Clarke, Olympic Champion! It was what I went to bed dreaming about last night and what I’ve dreamed of for so many years.

“To wake up this morning thinking this is actually the finals of the Olympics and I could come away being the Olympic champion is just like wow.

“For sure I’ve had some luck and you need a bit of luck in this sport to excel and that has come today. I don’t know what I did to deserve that but I obviously did something right along the way.”

Max Whitlock won Team GB’s first men’s individual all-around gymnastics medal since 1908, claiming bronze in a nerve-wracking evening in the Rio Olympic Arena.

Whitlock started as he meant to go on, recording what would be the best score on the pommel horse all night on his first piece of apparatus.

Top-five performances on the floor, rings and vault saw the 23-year-old finish behind reigning champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan and Oleg Verbiaiev of Ukraine.

“Getting all six pieces right is very hard and there was a lot of pressure coming into today but I had to take it step by step. Before every piece I thought I had to go for it and that’s what I did,” said Whitlock, who saw teammate Nile Wilson finish eighth.

“Out in the arena I don’t look at anything, so I don’t know how anyone else is doing. That’s why it was such an anxious wait at the end. I was first up on floor, which meant I had to wait a whole rotation and see big scores come through.”

Sally Conway won Team GB’s first judo medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after a stunning day that ended with a well-deserved bronze in the -70kg category.

Conway impressed immensely in the opening rounds securing three straight wins by ippon, including over world champion Gevrise Emane of France, to reach the semi-finals.

The 29-year-old, from Bristol, gave a good account of herself against Yuri Alvear of Colombia in the semi-final but lost by waza-ari before quickly returning to battle for bronze.

Conway wasn’t going to waste her second medal opportunity and defeated Bernadette Graf of Austria by one yuko to claim bronze on her second Olympic outing.

“It feels absolutely amazing; I am so happy I can’t even put it into words at the moment,” said Conway.

“I didn’t have much time in between [the semi-final loss and the bronze medal match]. One minute you have to the chance to become Olympic champion and the next you are fighting for a bronze medal.

“It was such a quick turnover I didn’t have much time to think, I just had to get bronze after everything I put myself through today.

“The better you fight during the day and the more wins you get under your belt you do grow in confidence. At the start of the day I was very nervous and wondering what today might hold but as the day has gone on I have enjoyed it more and more.”

Chris Froome won men’s time trial bronze for the second consecutive Olympic Games, battling wet and windy conditions in Pontal.

The three-time Tour de France winner finished over a minute down on Swiss winner Fabian Cancellara, who also took gold at Beijing 2008, with Dutchman Tom Dumoulin finishing second. Geraint Thomas, Team GB’s second entrant, finished in ninth.

Froome said he was hoping to save something for the second lap of the Grumari circuit, but admitted when it came to it he had nothing left to give.

He said: “It’s been an amazing summer. Winning the Tour was a big target for me and coming here to try and back it up. Just to be at the Olympics is really special, but to come away with another medal is even more special.”

In the women’s race Emma Pooley struggled in the conditions to cross the line with the 14th fastest time. American rider Kristen Armstrong won her third consecutive Olympic Games time trial gold, finishing the 29km course in 44:26:42.

Pooley said: “We knew there was a chance of rain. With my physiology it’s a bit tougher when there’s a strong, blustery wind like that because it makes it harder to control the bike. But that’s bike racing, you get what you’re given on the day.”

Team GB shooter Steve Scott defeated compatriot Tim Kneale to win the bronze medal in the men’s Olympic double trap in Deodoro.

After both qualified to face each other in the bronze medal match, Scott’s perfect score of 30 against Kneale’s 28 secured Team GB their second shooting medal of Rio 2016 after Ed Ling’s trap bronze.

The two good friends embraced following the end of the tense competition and despite claiming the final spot on the podium, it was clear that Scott had nothing but respect and admiration for the efforts of Kneale.

“Both of us put a tremendous amount of effort and hard work in just to get here, let alone to make a final and shoot for a medal,” said Scott.

“It’s a very emotional time for me. There is a little part of me that wanted him to win as well because we worked so hard together.”

“I think the expectation coming into the event was to medal, but personally I just wanted to make the final and give myself a good chance. I know I’ve got the ability to win.

“It made me a little bit more relaxed knowing that I’m shooting off with my teammate. I was self-taught for the best part of 11 years and after watching Peter [Wilson] win [at London 2012] and seeing him go from an average shooter to an Olympic gold medallist in the space of two years, this was because he was being coached by Al Maktoum [Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum].

“I was a little bit cheeky after London and said to Peter that if he was considering retiring, would he ask Al Maktoum to consider coaching me. He knew about me and my performances and [his coaching] has been without doubt one of the biggest things towards this medal.”

Team GB’s men’s rugby sevens side advanced to the Olympic semi-finals following a dramatic 5-0 win over Argentina that came courtesy of a last-gasp try in extra time.

The score was astonishingly still at 0-0 and the end of normal time despite both teams having players sin-binned and Argentina missing what would have been a match-winning penalty in stoppage time.

It meant sudden death where the first point claimed victory and Team GB captain Tom Mitchell almost won it with a penalty but it agonisingly came back of the post.

It was a miss that didn’t prove costly though as Dan Bibby, the outstanding player of the match, blasted through the tired Argentinian defence to give his side a place in the last four against South Africa.

“I’ve never played a game of sevens like that,” said Bibby. “I’ve played for three or four years now and I’ve never been in a 0-0 draw at full-time.

“We just kept our composure and ended up getting that crucial score so I’m very proud of the boys.”

Giles Scott proved he’s still the man to beat in the Finn Class after bouncing back from a disappointing first race on the water on day four to record second and first place finishes on day two.

The four-time Finn Gold Cup winner came home in 17th place in his opening race at Rio 2016, his current discard, and then third but was back on track a day later after dominating the field in wet and windy conditions to sit first overall after the four races.

“To come away with a second and first is a lot more pleasing than my first day that’s for sure,” said Scott.

“It was incredibly windy and at the top end, we were racing in 20 to 25 knots in big seas, which made for really full on racing. It meant a change in racing and approach and fortunately for me it came good.”

Elsewhere, it was a strong day on the whole for Team GB’s sailing squad as Nick Thompson moved up to second in the Laser with a second and first while the mixed Nacra 17 pair of Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves made their Olympic debuts in the class, sitting third after two races.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are sixth in the women’s 470 while the men’s pairing of Chris Grube and Luke Patience are 11th. Alison Young is up to 13th in the Laser Radial after finishing sixth and ninth in her two races.


Andrew Willis was just 0.08 seconds shy of the podium as he finished fourth in the 200m breaststroke final.

The 25-year old from Surrey qualified second fastest for the final in Rio, but was stung by an outside burner from lane eight as Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin snatched a shock gold in 2:07.46.

“I gave it everything and I stuck to my plan to go out quick, pace myself then come back strong,” said Willis.

“The action was right in the outside lane. I couldn’t see what was going on out there. I do feel like I approached that final in the right way and that’s why it’s all the more disappointing that I’ve finished just short.”

Duncan Scott was the other Brit in final action, finishing fifth in the blue riband 100m freestyle.

The 19-year old from Stirling, who won 4x200m freestyle relay gold with the British quartet last night, clocked 48.01 in the final, matching his British record from yesterday’s heats.

“I’ve got to be happy with fifth in the world in my first individual at a major meet,” said Scott.

In the night’s semi-final action, Molly Renshaw, Chloe Tutton and Dan Wallace all made progress into tomorrow night’s finals.

Renshaw clocked a British record 2:22.33 to qualify third fastest in the 200m breaststroke, while Tutton was seventh fastest through on 2:22.71.

Wallace, who was part of the medal-winning relay team with Scott, booked a spot in the 200m individual medley final, clocking 1:57.97 to progress in fifth.

Team GB had a mixed day in the hockey as the women claimed an important win to stay unbeaten while the men suffered a narrow defeat.

The women’s side were first in action and maintained their unbeaten record at Rio 2016 as they qualified for the Olympic quarter-finals with a 3-2 victory over Argentina.

Helen Richardson-Walsh struck twice and Sophie Bray scored another to give Team GB a 3-0 lead before Florencia Habif pulled two back for Argentina.

It sent up a tense finale but Team GB held firm and the Group B leaders will next face Japan on Friday.

In the evening match, the men’s team suffered a 2-1 loss to Australia in a typically tight encounter that saw all three goals scored in the final quarter.

With the match heading towards a draw, Australia struck twice to stun Team GB and despite a fine reply from Ashley Jackson they narrowly missed out on snatching a point.

The men now face a crucial match up with Spain in their final Pool A match with a quarter-final spot still remaining a possibility.

Patrick Huston is already eyeing up Tokyo 2020 in four years’ time after the 20-year-old archer’s Olympic debut came to end at the last 32 stage in the Sambadrome.

The Belfast man couldn’t keep pace with No.6 seed Bonchan Ku and was beaten 6-0 by the Korean.

Huston had earlier won his first knock-out match of the day, a 6-4 victory over the Netherlands’ Rick van der Ven and the young Brit certainly enjoyed his first taste of Olympic action.

“My first match went really well. My groupings were a little lower than I would have liked but I did enough to beat him,” said Huston.

“He’s a silver medallist at the World Championships so I’m really pleased with that. My second match was against the No.6 seed and he shot really well.

“I did OK but my group moved around a bit more than I would have liked and I didn’t quite catch the lines that would have made my Olympic experience go on that little bit longer.

“It’s a shame I lost but it’s made me thirstier for subsequent Games. I’ve already got quite a bit of experience at world level but I think Rio 2016 is a big stepping-stone to Tokyo.

“I’ve come on leaps and bounds over the last two years and I know that coming into Tokyo I will be more on my A-game.”

Teenager Rebekah Tiler matched her British record to secure a top-ten finish in the 69kg category.

The 17-year old lifted 101kg for her third and final snatch before equaling her clean and jerk British record with a second attempt at 126kg.

The Brit’s final score of 227 saw her finish second in her group and tenth overall on her Olympic debut.

“It was just an amazing experience, just getting on that platform with everyone screaming your name,” said Tiler. “It’s really cool and I had so much fun. I equalled my own best, which is good on an Olympic stage.

“I was the only British woman so I was representing all the women in weightlifting so it was quite a lot of pressure on me but I just went out and did my best and that was all I could do.”

Fiona Bigwood, riding Orthilia, is third in the dressage standings after day one of the Grand Prix in Deodoro.

Making her Olympic debut, Bigwood impressed the judges to collect a scattering of nines for trot work and passage, scoring 77.157%. After a strong start earlier by Spencer Wilton, Team GB are currently in the bronze medal position in the team event behind Germany and the Netherlands.

“I love that horse,” said Bigwood. “I was very emotional afterwards and had to go and give her a big hug because of how good she was.”

The Grand Prix action continues tomorrow with Carl Hester and double Olympic Champion Charlotte Dujardin in action.

Olympic newcomer Qais Ashfaq admitted a lack of experience cost him dearly as he lost his opening bout in the bantamweight division.

The 23-year old from Leeds was drawn again Thailand’s Chatchai Butdee, a 31-year old who has competed in five World Championships, reaching the quarter finals at the most recent staging in Doha last October.

The Thai boxer ultimately claimed a 3-0 win, putting the Brit on the mat mid-way through the second round.

“I knew he was going to be sharp and I knew he was going to be strong,” said Ashfaq, who won European silver last year.

“I didn’t feel myself in there. I guess it’s been a long wait for me to box and I’m not used to that. But I can’t use that as an excuse. On the night, I got beaten by the better kid.

“There was no freeze. He’s a lot older than me though. He’s been to a couple of Olympics and I guess experience showed a bit, that’s all.”

Team GB’s men’s quadruple sculls were forced to put their bid for an Olympic medal on hold as high winds forced a second cancellation of the rowing regatta at Lagoa.

Jack Beaumont, Sam Townsend, Angus Groom and Peter Lambert were set to race for Team GB’s first rowing medal but the wait continues with their final now scheduled for day six.

Of the cancellation, FISA executive director Matt Smith said: “We sent our team down to the start to see if the conditions with the headwind that we're experiencing allowed us to race in the first 500m.

“The answer was no. The forecast shows in fact that the conditions that we had at 06:00 and 07:00 are the conditions that more or less will happen through the whole day.”

No play was possible at the Olympic Tennis Centre on Wednesday due to rain, with Jo Konta now set for her quarter-final and Andy Murray his third round on day six.