The Rio-Round Up: Day 9 in Review

Andy Murray and Jason Kenny both defended their Olympic titles as Team GB once against enjoyed a day of eight medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Max Whitlock made history with two golds in a matter of hours and Justin Rose followed suit with the first golf crown for 112 years.

Andy Murray became the first tennis player in history to defend their Olympic title after a remarkable four set victory over Juan Martin Del Potro at Rio 2016.

The 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 win came in just over four hours as Murray added Rio 2016 gold to his London 2012 singles victory and mixed doubles silver.

With a total of 15 breaks of serve across the four sets, including seven in the last, both men had their chances as they slugged out a modern classic in front of a boisterous centre court crown in the Olympic Park.

The gold completes a memorable Games for the 29-year-old who led Team GB into the Opening Ceremony after being nominated Flagbearer – the first British tennis player to do so.

“It was one of the hardest matches that I’ve had to play for a big title,” said Murray. “Emotionally it was tough, physically it was hard with so many ups and downs in the match.

“The fact that it has never been done before shows it’s a very difficult thing to do and I’m very proud to have been the first one to have done it.

“It’s not easy especially in four years for a tennis player. I had back surgery since London and so many things can change – my ranking dropped and I’ve gone through some tough times off the court, so I’m happy that I’m still here competing for the big events.”

Jason Kenny triumphed in the battle of the Brits to retain his individual sprint crown, beating Callum Skinner by two races to nil, and move to five Olympic titles.

The pair were allowed to race full on against each other by the Team GB coaching staff and Kenny’s experience paid off in the head-to-head battle.

He becomes only the third cyclist to defend his sprint title, the first since 1996, while it is also the second time in three Olympic Games that Team GB have taken gold and silver in the event.

Kenny now joins Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Steve Redgrave on five career Olympic titles and he still has the men’s keirin to come in Rio.

Skinner and Kenny teamed up together and with Philip Hindes won the men’s team sprint on the first day of action in the velodrome with fours golds and one silver now won by Team GB in track cycling after four afternoons.

“It did take me back to Beijing a little bit [when he and Sir Chris Hoy raced for gold and silver]. I remember sitting having breakfast with Chris that morning and it was a bit of the same this time,” said Kenny.

“I enjoyed it, it was a bit lonely at London 2012 with it only just being one per nation and being on my own in the finals. It’s just better to be with someone who’s going through the same thing.”

In the men’s omnium, Mark Cavendish sits third overall after three of the six events. He set the second fastest individual pursuit time, stopping the clock at 4:16.878 minutes.

Despite then leader Lasse Norman Hansen being the first rider to be kicked out of the elimination race, Cavendish was unable to move up in the standings.

He was ousted ninth after straying into the wrong position on the track, with Elia Viviani of Italy and Thomas Boudat of France moving up into first and second.

Becky James and Katy Marchant also safely navigated qualifying and the first round of the women’s sprint to move forward into the next rounds.

Max Whitlock became the first ever Team GB gymnast to win Olympic gold medals after stunning victories in the men’s floor and pommel horse at Rio 2016.

Whitlock was also joined on the podium by compatriot Louis Smith, who took silver in the pommel for his third consecutive Olympic medal in the event.

On the greatest day in British gymnastics history, Whitlock won the first of three Team GB medals in the session in the floor as he put in a near flawless routine to earn a score of 15.633.

The 23-year-old then watched on as all of his rivals failed to better him as Brazilians Diego Hypolito and Arthur Mariano took silver and bronze respectively while compatriot Kristian Thomas in seventh.

Just over an hour later Whitlock was at it again, this time mastering the pommel horse as the 2015 world champion record a score of 15.966.

It was enough to edge Smith, who scored 15.833, into second as both shared a podium again following silver and bronze success at London 2012.

Whitlock also becomes the most decorated British Olympic gymnast ever with five medals following his two golds and one bronze at Rio 2016 and two bronzes at London 2012.

“This has outdone all of my expectations and I am proud to say I have made history,” said Whitlock. “The Olympic Games only come around once every four years and that is what makes it so special.”

Justin Rose enjoyed a historic day becoming the first Olympic golf gold medallist in 112 years in a thrilling showdown with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

Neck and neck around the final 18 holes, Rose chipped to within six-feet of the pin on the final hole of the Olympic Golf Course with the pair tied at 15-under.

Stenson couldn’t sink his long birdie putt and also missed his par attempt, giving Rose two attempts to seal the title – he only needed one to seal the historic gold medal.

Golf was last seen at the Olympic Games in 1904 with Rose being joined by Danny Willett who finished level par from his own four historic rounds in Rio.

“This feels better than any tournament I’ve ever won. This is so unique. The crowd out there were incredible,” Rose said.

“It’s a cross between gold and a carnival atmosphere, with people being so patriotic, the Union Jack was flying out there – it was amazing.

“The whole week has been incredible. Representing Team GB and feeling like you’re bigger than just your individual sport is just incredible.”

Windsurfer Nick Dempsey got Team GB’s sailing medal tally up and running as he officially got his hands on a second successive Olympic silver before Giles Scott quickly ensured there would be a gold to celebrate.

Dempsey, who turned 36 yesterday, went into the men’s RS:X medal race on the Pao de Acucar course with nothing possible except finishing with silver, provided he completed it successfully, but still put in a shift to finish fourth.

The five-time Olympian enjoyed a consistent series to claim the third Olympic medal of his illustrious career after silver at London 2012 and bronze at Athens 2004 with three wins before the medal race.

Dempsey’s silver is Team GB’s first sailing medal of Rio 2016 – Scott moments later guaranteeing a second in the Finn – and also sees him become the most decorated male windsurfer at the Olympic Games.

“It is amazing [being most decorated male Olympic windsurfer], awesome, something I am incredibly proud of,” he said.

“It has been a long time, I have been working for a long time, and it is very hard to say at the top for that long. I am not sure I can do it again. I would love to if I could.”

Meanwhile four-time world champion Scott cannot be knocked off top spot in the Finn after an eighth and a second in the last two outings of his qualifying series gave him an unassailable lead going into the medal race.

Scott has a 24-point lead and now just needs to complete the medal race, where he will officially win Team GB’s fourth successive Olympic title in the Finn after three straight from Sir Ben Ainslie.

Elsewhere the women’s 470 duo of Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are leading after an eighth and a victory but it is less good news for the men’s crew of Luke Patience and Chris Grube who fell to tenth after a disqualification and a 20th.

Bryony Shaw placed ninth overall after the medal race of the women’s RS:X, where she was sixth, while Nacra 17 pair Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves are eighth going into the medal race after finishing their qualifying series with two 15th-place finishes and a 12th.

Joshua Buatsi secured his third win of the Games to guarantee himself Team GB’s first boxing medal of Rio 2016 in the men's light heavyweight division.

The 23-year old was a class above sixth seed Abdelhafid Benchabla at times, easing past the Algerian with victory in a unanimous decision to book a spot in the semi-finals.

Having also accounted for the third seed in Rio with a knock out, the Brit has been one of the most impressive boxers of the Games and takes on Kazakhstan’s Abildek Niyazymbetov on Tuesday for a place in the final.

“I’ve improved for every fight and I’ve been on a long winning streak," said Buatsi. "I’ve just got to keep it going now.

“I let him hit me tonight to let him know that just because I’m in there and I’m dominating and hitting them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t take it.

“You can give and take. You can entertain a little bit and then we go back to the boxing. So I’m glad to put on a bit of a show and to secure bronze at least.”

World bronze medallist Savannah Marshall is one fight away from guaranteeing her first Olympic medal after booking her quarter-final place in the women’s middleweight division.

The 25-year old from Hartlepool defeated Sweden’s Anna Laurell Nash with a unanimous victory and will take on the Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn in Wednesday’s quarter-final.

Men’s light welterweight Pat McCormack fell short in the second round, losing on a split decision to Cuba’s Yasnier Toledo.

Christine Ohuruogu admitted she was proud of herself after the 400m star ran what is likely to be her final individual race of the Olympic Games at Rio 2016.

The 32-year-old Londoner won gold in the event at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and followed it up with a silver at London 2012 but Rio 2016 proved a step too far for as she finished fifth in her semi-final to miss out on the medal race.

“I am not too disappointed,” she said. “I’m actually quite proud to still be hanging around. I’m the only one of my generation still running.”

Emily Diamond also missed the final after finishing her semi-final in sixth place.

There was better news in the women’s 1500m as both Laura Muir and Laura Weightman qualified from their respective semi-finals to the final.

In the men’s 400m final, Matthew Hudson-Smith finished eighth in an astonishing race won by South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk in a world record of 43.03.

Both CJ Ujah and James Dasaolu narrowly missed out on the 100m final despite strong semi-final performances in an event ultimately won later in the night by Usain Bolt.

In the field, Robert Grabarz qualified for the men’s high jump final after clearing 2.29m but compatriot Chris Baker misses out after narrowly failing to clear the height.

Grace Reid brought her maiden Olympic campaign to a close with an history-making eighth place finish in the 3m springboard at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.

Reid, from Edinburgh, was the first British woman to compete in the 3m final for 34 years, since Alison Drake finished 12th at the Munich 1972.

And Reid comfortably beat Drake’s ranking on her outing in Rio, improving on her preliminary and semi-final score to finish on 318.60.

“That was amazing,” said Reid, who won European bronze in London this year. “I loved every second. I’m gutted it’s over to be honest but I loved every second of that from the first day I was up to just now.

“I guess I saved my best until last. That’s the good thing going in on a fresh page and taking each dive at a time and to walk away with that result is just amazing.

“We’ve put in so much work over the past 13 years and that was a testament to that work we’ve put in.”

Team GB’s jumpers kicked off their Rio 2016 campaign by qualifying in joint eighth on the opening day of action at the Olympic Equestrian Centre.

The Brits are defending champions in the team event, with Nick Skelton and Ben Maher collecting their first Olympic medals with golds at London 2012.

Meanwhile brothers John and Michael Whitaker, who won team silver on their Olympic debuts in 1984, have since returned to the fold.

And it was John – the oldest member of Team GB in Rio at 61 – who starred for the Brits, steering 11-year old mare Ornellaia to a clear round.

“I’m very happy with the round,” said Whitaker. “It was good from start to finish. The second last fence, the double, has been causing problems throughout the competition so I was a little bit wary because she [Ornellaia] doesn’t have much experience at this level.

“But she didn’t look at it to be honest. Everything went to plan. She felt fresh, she was listening, she was jumping and it’s nice to get the first day behind with a bit of confidence for the rest of the week because it’s going to get tougher.

“I knew it would be nice to jump it clear to keep us up there for the draw tomorrow and it keeps me in there qualifying for the individual.”

Rajiv Ouseph sealed a place in the knockout stages of the men’s singles with a straight sets defeat of Japan’s Sho Sakaki.

The 29-year old from Hounslow is seeded 13th in Rio, and was the highest ranked player in his three-man group.

And after seeing off Petr Koukal in his opening match, he made it two wins from two with a 21-15, 21-9 win over world number 25 Sakaki, avenging a quarter-final defeat at last year’s All England Open.

“I knew this was going to be the crucial game when the draw came out so I am very happy to have won and I am looking forward to the next round now,” said Ouseph.

“It looked comfortable but it wasn’t always that comfortable. I think the first set was quite crucial and when he came back a little bit at me it was important to stick it out there and be tough.

“I managed to do that and I think in the second game I managed to relax a little bit and play quite well and I am really happy with that.”

Ouseph will face Indonesia’s 2014 world bronze medallist Tommy Sugiarto in the last 16. Kirsty Gilmour meanwhile missed out on qualification to the knockout stages of the women’s singles after a three set loss to Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri.

Paul Drinkhall believes table tennis is on the rise in Britain after a successful Rio 2016 for the team.

Drinkhall, who made the fourth round of the singles event, once again partnered with Liam Pitchford and Sam Walker in the team event – pushing defending champions China in each match before eventually going down 3-0.

As England, they won bronze at the World Team Championships last year and were unlucky to draw against a Chinese side unbeaten in 16 years in Olympic competition.

With Tokyo 2020 very much in their sights, the future of British table tennis is looking bright according to Drinkhall.

“The response and the support we’ve had from back home has been great and I think we’ve had decent coverage on the TV as well so I think the sport is definitely on the up,” said Drinkhall.

“Our results as a team are on the up too so I think table tennis in Britain is in a great place. Hopefully we can keep building on that.

“We’re definitely looking at Tokyo. It was a tough draw here against China but I think we all believe that if that happens again in Tokyo then we’ll go to beat them.

“As a team we’ve got great team spirit and individually we’re improving a lot. I think we’ve got the best team spirit in table tennis.”

Olivia Federici and Katie Clark made their maiden Olympic appearance as a duet on day nine in Rio and ranked 18th overall for their first routine.

Federici and Clark, who are Team GB’s only synchronised swimmers at the Games, scored 79.9667 for their duet free routine to place inside the top 20.

The Team GB pair duo only returned to the sport late last year having retired after featuring at London 2012 but remained upbeat following the day’s efforts.

“It felt really good,” said Federici. “I guess I’m a little disappointed with our score but we gave it everything and you can’t do much more than what you can control. It’s one of our best swims so you can’t really ask for more than that.”