British swimmers Adam Peaty and Jazz Carlin landed Team GB’s first medals of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in a memorable ten minutes of action in the pool on day two.
World champion Peaty was the first of the two, writing his name in the history books as the first Team GB medallist of Rio 2016 with a world record for 100m breaststroke gold.
Just eight minutes later, Carlin was in the water for the 400m freestyle, securing silver in her first final of her Olympic debut.
Reigning world champion Peaty had been favourite to add the Olympic title even before he swept to a world record in the opening heats session of the Games.
And the 21-year old’s display in the final was a masterclass in delivering on the big stage, pulling clear of a world class field to touch in 57.13 seconds – more than 1.5 seconds ahead of the field and 0.42 seconds under his old world marker.
“I can’t even put into words how much that swim meant to me,” he said. “Going down that last 50m, I was aware that I was in front but not by that much. I touched the wall, looked to my left and thought ‘where is everybody?’
“I put so much effort in to that dive and so much effort in to that back end and that’s what you get.
“Me and Mel [Marshall, coach] thought the best possible race I could do was 57.3 so I have to slap myself to believe I’ve just done a 57.1. It’s absolutely incredible.
“I look at the British flag and to be representing one of the best countries in the world and seeing these colours in that order means so much to me.”
While Carlin also reached the podium at last year’s World Championships, it was with bronze in the 800m freestyle, rather than the 400m in which she placed fourth.
But after a lifetime best to qualify second from the heats, the 25-year old set another personal best in the final, finishing in 4:01.23 minutes to come home behind USA’s Katie Ledecky, who clocked a world record 3:56.46.
And Carlin admitted watching Peaty’s victory in the preceding race was the perfect prelude to her own final.
“I was in the call room watching Adam and I had goosebumps on the block really,” she said.
“To see someone who is your friend and teammate break a world record to become Olympic champion right before my swim definitely got me pumped up.
“I just wanted to come here and give it absolutely everything with no regrets.
“Sometimes when you get out of a swim, you have a little bit left or you wish you had done things a little bit better.
“But I knew I was going to go in and give it absolutely everything and to put myself in the race first instead of always trailing behind, trying to catch up meters.
“Four years ago I was sat in the stands cheering everyone on as part of the crowd and now I’m actually a part of the team and I’m absolutely over the moon to come away with a silver medal.”
World champion James Guy was among the other Brits in action on the second night of finals in the pool.
The 20-year old booked a spot in the 200m freestyle final, qualifying eighth in 1:46.23.
Georgia Davies, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Chloe Tutton were also in semi-finals on the night.
Davies and Walker-Hebborn finished 10th and 11th in the women's and men's 100m backstroke semis respectively while Tutton was 13th in the 100m breaststroke.