The Rio Round-Up: Day 7 in Review

Sir Bradley Wiggins claimed his eighth Olympic medal, Heather Stanning, Helen Glover and the men's coxless fours retained their rowing titles as Team GB collected six medals from Day 7 at Rio 2016.

Sir Bradley Wiggins confirmed himself as the most decorated British Olympian of all time after winning gold in the men’s team pursuit at Rio 2016.

Wiggins, alongside teammates Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Owain Doull recorded their second world record of the day in the final as they came home in 3:50.265 to push Australia into second place.

Australia led for much of the race but the Team GB quartet reeled their 0.6 second lead back in and overtook the in the final 1000m to clinch gold.

The victory means Wiggins now stands alone as the only British athlete to have won eight Olympic medals having claimed five gold, one silver and two bronze.

The win was Clancy’s third successive team pursuit Olympic gold and Burke’s second, while it’s a first for Olympic debutant Doull.

Earlier in the session both Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner broke the men’s sprint Olympic record on their way to qualifying for the quarter-finals.

“The first people I bumped into when I came off the track were Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy, said Wiggins. “They’re my heroes in Olympic sport and just to be in the same breath as those guys is an honour really.

“I remember being in Sydney and seeing him [Redgrave] win there and I’d won bronze. I remember thinking if had to go to the job centre on Monday morning I could always say I’d got Olympic bronze. So to be here with five gold medals myself I never imaged that for one minute. I wanted to go out like this.”

It was an historic day for Team GB’s rowers at the Lagoa Stadium as they won double gold in the women’s pair and men’s coxless four.

While they were hot favourites for the title, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning retained their women’s pair title with a typically assured performance, holding off a late New Zealand fightback to cross first in 7:18.29.

Having become the first ever British female Olympic rowing champions at London 2012, their victory in Rio saw them become the first British women to defend an Olympic rowing crown. The pair are also now undefeated in 39 races.

“The first time we did it, it took a long time to realise we were Olympic champions and it was all new to us,” said Glover.

“This time round, we crossed the line and we were 2016 champions and we felt like that straight away.

“It’s that real realisation and I think we both felt it more this time round. This was a bigger feeling than even at a home Games – it’s amazing.”

While Team GB have now lifted back-to-back titles in the women’s pair, their winning run in the men’s coxless four stretches to five Olympic Games after victory for Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis.

In one of the most anticipated contests of the regatta, the Brits held off rivals Australia to defend their title in 5:58.61 with Australia crossing second on 6:00.44.

“It’s pretty nuts to be honest,” said Nash. “It’s been a seriously nervy week just trading these passive aggressive blows with the Australians through the heats, looking at the times and wondering.

“It felt like every stroke was going nicely with a lot of power behind it and it’s just great to come away and finish on top.”

Alan Campbell was just one place short of the final in the men’s single sculls as he finished fourth in his semi in 7:09.54 while Will Fletcher and Richard Chambers won their B final of the lightweight double sculls in 6:28.81.

Charlotte Taylor and Katherine Copeland crossed second in their C final of the women’s lightweight double sculls.

Bryony Page admits it’ll be years until she realises the realities of her Olympic silver after becoming the first British athlete ever to win a trampoline medal at the Games.

After qualifying for the final of the women’s event in seventh with a score of 100.075 from her two routines, the 25-year-old’s 56.040 was then good enough for the silver as Rosannagh MacLennan of Canada took gold with 56.465 and Dan Li of China in bronze with 55.885.

Page’s teammate Kat Driscoll had also qualified for the final and finished in sixth place with 53.645. It was the first time any British athlete had made an Olympic trampoline final.

“It’s just incredible, I can’t believe it,” said Page. “I think once I retire from sport and watch the Olympics not as an athlete is when it’ll sink in. It’s been an incredible journey so far and hopefully more to come.”

“I didn’t expect to medal so to go and to get silver – I just couldn’t have asked for more.”

Jazmin Carlin became the first British athlete to win two medals at Rio 2016 as her 800m freestyle silver helped Team GB equal their best Olympic Games medal haul in the swimming pool since Los Angeles 1984.

Carlin, from Swindon, entered the 800m freestyle final ranked third from the heats and was to win a back and forth tussle with Hungary’s reigning European champion Boglarka Kapas for silver.

Gold went to Katie Ledecky, her fourth of the Games in Rio, in a new world record of 8:04.79 minutes with Carlin 11.38 seconds behind and Kapas a further 0.20 further adrift in third.

Carlin, who claimed world bronze in the 800m last year, won silver in the 400m freestyle on day two of the Games and a repeat over double the distance means she is Britain’s first double medallist of Rio 2016.

Team GB now have five medals in the swimming pool with one more session of competition left to go in Rio, equalling the sport’s previous best haul from the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.

“If someone had told me four years ago that I would be stood on a podium twice with two silver medals I would have said there is no way,” said Carlin.

“It has taken a lot of time to get here and there have been times when I haven’t believed in myself but my family and the all of the support staff around me have believed in me from the bottom.”

Elsewhere on the penultimate night of pool action in Rio, Ben Proud finished an agonising fourth in the men’s 50m freestyle while Fran Halsall set herself with a shot at a medal in the men’s equivalent.

Halsall won her semi-final 24.41 to rank fourth fastest going into the final – the first event of the last evening of race – and she believes being away from the centre lanes good play into her hands.

She said: “Fourth fastest is kind of the perfect place to be. One of the blue lanes is a little bit less stressful than the yellow ones in the middle so that is really nice.”

Team GB wrapped up team silver in the dressage Grand Prix Special on Friday afternoon, with Charlotte Dujardin’s performance placing her second in the individual standings.

All four British riders took to the arena on the third day of the team event, with Dujardin the best ranked among them with a score of 82.983. Carl Hester (76.485) ranked ninth, Fiona Bigwood (74.342) was 16th and Spencer Wilton (73.613) came 21st.

Dujardin, Hester and Bigwood all qualify for Monday’s freestyle event, which will decide the individual medals.

“To come back after London gold, which we knew would be very difficult to recreate, any medal we’d have been happy with,” said Hester, who also coaches the team.

“For the future of British dressage, the fact that we’ve been able to medal again, with a new member again on our team, it’s fantastic.”

Jessica Ennis-Hill leads the women’s heptathlon after the first day of competition, but with just 100 points separating her and fellow Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson, day two looks to be set for fierce competition.

Ennis-Hill produced a solid shot putt display, reaching 13.86m, but it was this event that saw Johnson-Thompson fall from first to sixth overall, with her best throw over two metres down on her fellow brit.

But the 23-year-old from Liverpool bounced back in the fourth and final event of the day, winning her heat of the 200m ahead of Ennis-Hill in a time of 23.26 to move back up to fourth place.

“It’s always nice to be leading after the first day,” Ennis-Hill said. “Those girls have big jumps in the long jump and can all run good 800 metres. It’ll be a challenging day, and another long one.”

Elsewhere, Greg Rutherford overcame two fouls in qualifying to reach Saturday’s long jump final, where he will defend his title from London 2012.

Rutherford produced a jump of 7.90 with his third and final effort of the evening, enough to see him progress in seventh place.

Elsewhere, there were mixed fortunes for Martyn Rooney and Matthew Hudson-Smith in the men’s 400m heats, with three-time Olympian Rooney failing to qualify while his younger compatriot progresses to the semi-finals.

Desiree Henry got her Olympic career off to a flying start, winning heat one of the women’s 100m heats, Asha Philip and Daryll Neita finished 3rd and 4th respectively in their races.

There was also good news for Sophie Hitchon in the women’s hammer as she qualified to the final in 6th with a throw of 70.37m.

Nick Dempsey will collect Team GB’s first sailing medal of the Rio 2016 Games after guaranteeing himself silver in the RS:X class.

The windsurfer, who turns 36 on Saturday, finished fifth, seventh and eighth in the last three races of the competition.

And while he trails too far behind defending Olympic champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe to have a chance of landing gold, he has enough points on the board to guarantee finishing ahead of the rest of the field after Sunday’s medal race.

“It’s cool to be back on the Olympic podium,” said Dempsey, who is competing at his fifth Olympic Games in Rio.

“I think a year out at the test event last year I wasn’t anywhere near the podium and I knew I had a lot of work to do so the last 12 months have gone really well and I’ve worked bloody hard.

"It’s nice to come here and give myself a chance of winning and to come away with the silver medal is pretty awesome.”

Bryony Shaw reached the medal race in the women’s RS:X, securing fourth places in her last three races to place eighth overall.

There were also victories for both the men’s and women’s 470s on a busy day at the Marina Da Gloria.

Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills remain firmly in charge of the women’s event after victory in their only race today while a race win for Chris Grube and Luke Patience in the men’s event moves them up to third overall at the half-way stage.

Andy Murray will get the chance to compete for a medal in the men’s singles after his quarter-final victory over the USA’s Steve Johnson.

The defending champion looked in control after cruising through the opening set 6-0 but the American fought back to level before going up a break up in the third.

Murray showed his fighting spirit though and battled to a tie-breaker and eventually sealed the victory 6-0 4-6 7-6 to set up a semi-final clash with Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

“I don’t think he hit many balls before the match because of the rain so he just started slow but came right back into the match,” said Murray. “He’s ranked 20th in the world but will probably be a bit higher in the next couple of months.

“Tomorrow’s a big match. You win tomorrow and you’re guaranteed a medal and as tennis players we’re not really used to losing and coming back the next day and trying to win so I’ll be going for it tomorrow.”

Amber Hill produced a superb performance in the Women’s Skeet competition as she made the final and only narrowly missed out on a medal at the Olympic Shooting Centre.

In a packed field, the 18-year-old from Windsor comfortably made the final but missed three targets in her final 16 shots to miss out on a chance to challenge for the podium.

“I was disappointed not to reach the gold medal match which I was here to do but I am so fortunate to have this opportunity,” said Hill.

“The feeling you get when you walk out onto the range is incredible and I am so fortunate that I am one of the lucky few that get to experience that."

Meanwhile Elena Allen missed out on a place in the final after finishing 14th in qualifying with just the top six progressing.

The 44-year-old from Newport struggled with windy conditions that many of her rivals that competed after her didn’t have to face.

“I might be showing emotion but I don’t actually feel disappointed not to have made the final. I am shooting exceptionally well,” she said.

Mixed doubles pair Chris and Gabby Adcock and men’s doubles duo Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis claimed remarkable three-set victories on the second day of the badminton at Riocentro.

The Adcocks defeated Danish duo Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen 21-19, 22-24, 21-17 to avenge their opening loss to Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China on the first day of badminton.

Langridge and Ellis meanwhile sent No.3 seeds Kim Gi-Jung and Kim Sa-rang tumbling 17-21, 25-23, 21-18 after an opening defeat with both pairs resurrecting their chances of reaching the quarter-final.

Gabby Adcock admitted it would have been easy to have been wrapped up in sulking after their first match but was happy for some stern words from her husband Chris.

“It has been really hard because we don’t normally play tournaments with this format [group stage then knockout stage], if you lose it is normally straight knockout,” she said.

“So to pick yourself up having been so close yesterday was really difficult. I think I sulked for about 20 minutes but Chris and the coach said ‘come on, look to the next game’. We are really happy with how we came out and performed.”

It was not the same fortune for women’s doubles pair Heather Olver and Lauren Smith however as they lost their second match in straight sets 21-10, 21-13 to Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari of Indonesia.

Sam Taylor recovered from three match points down in the fifth set of the deciding rubber to send Team GB’s table tennis players into the quarter finals of the team event.

The 21-year old from Worksop secured a 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 9-11, 12-10 victory over France’s world number 18 Simon Gauzy to secure a 3-2 win for the Brits – their first victory in the Team Event since it was introduced to the Games in 2008.

All five matches of the contest went to five sets and all three Brits played their part in the win, with Paul Drinkhall defeating Emmanuel Lebesson in the second rubber and Liam Pitchford beating Tristan Flore in the fourth rubber.

Pitchford lost to Gauzy in the first match while Walker and Drinkhall lost to Flore and Lebesson in the doubles.

“It’s been hard waiting for today,” said Walker. “I managed to stay quite focused. It’s a noisy hall but I managed to shut it out quite well. Obviously I can hear the guys behind me supporting me.

The Brits will play world champions and defending Olympic champions China in the quarter finals on Sunday.

Justin Rose might not have the eye of a certain celebrity on the Olympic golf course in Rio but he’s hoping to grab the attention over the weekend after two solid rounds so far.

The 36-year-old ended the second day of golf’s historic return to the Olympic Games on -6 after a round of 69 with Australian Marcus Fraser maintaining his lead on -10.

Rose has been in a grouping with Jhonattan Vegas and Rickie Fowler during the first two days with the American garnering a noticeable following on the greens in Rio.

“He [Matthew McConaughey] was following Rickie [Fowler], he loves his golf. I have met him once or twice before at various golf events. He had been texting and communicating with Ricky throughout the week and they are friends,” said Rose.

“They certainly don’t give anything out [on day two] and all you can do is put yourself behind and be in for a struggle but I feel like I haven’t done that and I feel like I am in a good position going into the weekend.”

Meanwhile fellow Team GB golfer Danny Willett is on -1 after a round of 70 on day two.

James Davis insists he and the rest of the Team GB fencing squad will leave Rio 2016 with their heads held high after placing sixth in the men’s team foil event.

Team GB had hopes of a medal on day seven, especially after the fantastic individual fourth-place finish of Richard Kruse earlier at the Games but it wasn’t meant to be.

Davis, Kruse, Laurence Halstead and Marcus Mepstead lost to Russia in the quarter-finals before defeating Egypt to go into a fight with China for fifth place.

They fell to a 45-38 defeat and, while addressing they didn’t achieve what they set out to, Davis is taking pride in the journey the quartet have taken to compete in Rio.

““We have been a fantastic team from day one, I think Laurence said to the BBC, it has taken us two years to qualify and it has been fantastic.

“There have been some really, really tough bouts and we can keep our heads up. We worked very, very hard out there. We didn’t lose it, we stayed focussed and some days the guys are better than us. We can be proud of what we have done.”

Great Britain’s men’s team saw their Olympic campaign come to an end with a 1-1 draw against Spain, which was not enough to secure qualification out of pool A.

Sam Ward’s first half strike cancelled out David Alegre’s opener to earn the point but with Belgium losing to New Zealand later in the evening, GB finished fifth in the pool on five points.

“The game went to plan in some ways. We knew we had to move the ball around a lot, move it from side to side and make them work hard," said captain Barry Middleton

“We tried to get the ball deep into the D and try and get things to fall for us around the goal. We got pretty much where we wanted to be, but without that last little bit.”

Grace Reid believes her Olympic experience has been worth the wait after qualifying for the women’s 3m springboard final at Rio 2016.

The 20-year-old Olympic debutant finished with a score of 304.95 to qualify 14th into tomorrow’s semi-final and Reid was delighted to get her Games finally underway.

“It’s been amazing here,” said Reid. “I was a little bit taken aback the first couple of days, I was really in awe of everything.  And then I settled in and realised I’m here and I needed to start acting like it.

“I’m so glad that I’ve started. I’ve been away from home for five weeks now and I’m finally getting to compete which is amazing. It’s been worth the wait but I am glad to get started now.

“I’m really pleased with that performance, that was exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to put in a really consistent performance and have fun and I’ve done that.”