There were historic Olympic firsts for Britain’s women’s hockey outfit and showjumper Nick Skelton on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as Team GB won two gold, one silver and one bronze to move to 60 overall.
- Team GB’s women’s hockey team claim maiden Olympic title and first gold in sport since 1988
- Skelton saves his best until last as he wins dramatic jump off for historic first ever individual gold
- Lutalo Muhammad suffers heartache as he loses in last second of welterweight taekwondo final
- Team GB sprint to first Olympic women’s 4x100m relay medal for 32 years at Olympic Stadium
- Super heavyweight Joe Joyce dances his way into final to guarantee at least silver
- Liam Heath fastest into K1 200m final as he launches bid for second medal in three days
Team GB Rio 2016 medal tally: Gold: 22. Silver: 24. Bronze: 14. Total: 60
A nerve-wracking shootout was required, but Team GB’s women’s hockey squad won their first ever Olympic gold medal beating reigning champions the Netherlands after a dramatic final.
Hollie Webb and Helen Richardson-Walsh both found the net in the shootout in Deodoro as goalkeeper Maddie Hinch proved the hero, keeping the Dutch at bay on four occasions.
Regular time finished 3-3, with Team GB fighting back from a goal down twice on the night, as Lily Owsley, Crista Cullen and Nicola White found the net to force the dramatic shootout.
The win completes a dream Olympic Games for the side in Rio as they went unbeaten throughout, winning all eight of the matches they played to truly deserve their first ever gold.
And coach Danny Kerry said: “We know we’re good at shootouts. We have some tough competitors and probably the best goalie in the world in shootouts.
“As soon as it went there I knew we would win. We had to defend, we had to dig trenches, but we changed things in the last quarter and it paid off.
“Eight of the group are multiple Olympians and we needed that experience.”
Team GB last won Olympic hockey gold courtesy of the men at Seoul 1988 and Hinch admitted she had done her homework on shootouts with the Dutch defeating Germany that way in the semi-final.
“That was a huge team effort. The Dutch are a fantastic side. We definitely backed ourselves in the shootout. Goalkeeping has its highs and lows. You can be a villain, but you can also be a hero in the moment,” she said.
“It helped that the Dutch had a shootout in their semi-final, so that gave me a chance to see what they do, but I basically give myself a game plan for each player and I execute that and thankfully it worked. Thankfully the Dutch did what I thought they would do.”
Nick Skelton became Team GB’s oldest Olympic medallist since 1912 as he won Britain’s first ever individual showjumping gold after a dramatic final at Rio 2016.
Skelton, 58, triumphed in a six-man jump-off with Big Star after going clear in two straight final rounds to take his second career gold medal at a record seventh Olympic Games.
He stopped the clock after a clear jump-off round in 42.82 seconds, over half a second faster than Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, who was the only other rider to go clear.
Having jumped first, Skelton, who won team gold at London 2012, had to sit and watch as his rivals were unable to beat his round, winning Britain’s first individual jumping medal for 44 years.
Shooter John Butt is Team GB’s oldest Olympic medallist having won silver at Stockholm 1912 aged 61 while Skelton’s gold completes a haul of three medals for Team GB in equestrian at Rio 2016.
“This has really capped my career. I’ve been in the sport a long time and to win this now at my age is amazing,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do this – I nearly did it in London. I’ve had European medals and world medals, but to win this is pretty emotional for all concerned in my team.
“I always knew in the back of my mind that I could do it. He [Big Star] is an absolutely amazing horse. You can trust him, he wants to do it and he has all the right attributes. For me he’s the best horse I’ve had and will ever have.
“I’m so pleased for him because he’s worked hard. We’ve done a lot of work with him and we’ve slowly been bringing him back. He really came good for me.”
Britain’s other competitor Ben Maher reached the afternoon session after knocking down just one fence in the first round, but three dropped poles and a time penalty saw him finish 25th in the final.
Lutalo Muhammad had to settle for silver in the men’s 80kg taekwondo final after the Ivory Coast’s Cheick Sallah Cisse clinched gold with the final kick of the contest.
Leading 6-4, Muhammad couldn’t defend a last-gasp attack from the Ivorian with the 25-year-old eventually losing 8-6.
Muhammad, who won bronze at London 2012, had been in sparkling form all day having seen off Australia’s Hayder Shkara 14-0 in the first round before ending the run of 12th seed Steven Lopez of the USA 9-2 in the quarter-finals.
That victory set up a semi-final clash with the 2016 European champion Milad Beigi Harchegani but Muhammad had too much for the Azerbaijani, eventually coming through 12-7, before the final second drama of the final.
“The emotions are very raw right now,” said Muhammad. “It’s tough to lose an Olympic final and especially in a match I was winning. But that’s life and that’s sport.
“It is a horrible moment when his score has gone on the board and the time has run out. I felt in control of the fight so it’s all the more painful. If I was losing all the way through you can accept it but I came very close to achieving my goal.
“But I’m very happy and proud to be here. Second time Olympian and second time medallist – bronze, silver, so we know what’s next.”
Team GB’s quartet of Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita stormed to an Olympic bronze medal with a superb performance in the women’s 4x100m relay final.
They won in a British record of 41.77 seconds to secure Team GB a podium spot alongside gold medallists USA, who ran 41.01 for the second quickest time ever, and silver medallists Jamaica.
Bronze marks Team GB’s fifth athletics medal of Rio 2016 and the first for the nation in the women’s 4x100m relay at the Olympic Games since Los Angeles 1984.
“We have worked so unbelievably hard as a team. We have had relay practices since January to get it right,” said Asher-Smith.
“This means an awful lot because not only have we worked hard to get faster as individuals, we have bonded and worked hard as a team.
“To be able to come out here when the pressure is on and it really matters and deliver the goods is absolutely incredible. I am so proud of these girls.”
There wasn’t such good news for the men’s 4x100m relay team as Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and Adam Gemili finished fifth in the final a time of 37.98.
In the women’s pole vault final, Team GB’s Holly Bradshaw also finished in fifth and in the women’s 5,000m final, Eilish McColgan put in a gutsy performance to finish in 13th place in a world class field.
In the women’s 4x400m relay heats Emily Diamond, Anyika Onuora, Kelly Massey and Christine Ohuruogu secured their spot in the final as the latter comfortably anchored the team home in second place behind Jamaica.
In the men’s 4x400m relay, the quartet of Nigel Levine, Delano Williams, Matt Hudson-Smith and Martyn Rooney were initially declared winners of their heat but they were disqualified minutes.
Standing over 6ft 4in tall and weighing 17st, it takes a brave man to rile up Joe Joyce but that’s what awaits the super heavyweight Brit in Sunday’s boxing final.
After storming back from losing the opening round to see off Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko in the semi-final, Joyce faces familiar foe in the shape of Tony Yoka for Olympic gold.
And the Frenchman’s comments that Joyce wasn’t smart and boxed like a robot will certainly make for interesting viewing with the two boxers exchanging victories in their last two fights.
“With his comments I’m glad I’m facing him I want to go and prove him wrong,” said Joyce. “He’s just trying to get me angry.
“Yoka will be on the back foot, moving around and getting the jab off. Being smart, as he says. I’ll just have to slow him down.
“I’ve beaten Yoka before and he avenged that defeat so it’s my time again. His was quite a close fight and it would be good to beat him again in the final.”
Joyce impressed throughout the semi-final, constantly moving forward and testing the increasingly tiring Dychko and the 30-year-old knew he had the stamina to outlast the 6ft 9in Kazakh.
“It was a tough first round,” added Joyce. “He was very quick, mobile and was keeping me on the end of my jab so it was quite hard to close him down.
“He was following his game plan well. But in the second I began to close him down better and was catching him. I was picking him off as he was tiring. He couldn’t keep it up for the three rounds like I can.
“I started to land my shots and his face started to mark up as I landed a few big shots. He was standing in my way of a guaranteed silver medal so he wasn’t going to stop me.”
Liam Heath closed in on a second medal at Rio 2016 after impressing in the heats and semi-finals of the K1 200m canoe sprint at the Lagoa Stadium.
The 32-year old won European gold in the individual kayak earlier this year and underlined his form with an outstanding performance in the semi-final.
He finished clear of a field which included reigning world champion Mark de Jonge of Canada, and defending Olympic silver medallist Saul Craviotto of Spain.
Heath teamed up with Jon Schofield to win silver in the K2 200m, upgrading from bronze in the same event at London 2012.
“It was a solid performance again,” said Heath. “I’m really happy with both races. I kept calm and pushed it out towards the line. When you come to an Olympic Games, every semi and heat is hard.
“You’ve got all the best in the world here, all competing for the same thing. They’ve all been training for four years for this moment so there’s no easy heat.
“I’m quietly confident [for the final]. I’ll go back to the hotel and do something completely different – I’ll try not to watch too much of the Olympics on TV.”
The women’s K4 500m quartet of Jess Walker, Rebeka Simon, Rachel Cawthorn and Louisa Gurski also reached the A final, finishing joint second in their semi-final.
Team GB’s Charley Hull remains in the hunt for an historic golf medal after finishing day three tied for 5th place after a solid round in blustery conditions.
Hull went into the penultimate round of the competition in bronze medal position but strong winds on the Olympic golf course left all the players struggling to shoot low scores.
The 20-year-old ended up with a three over par 77 to leave her on -5 overall and four shots behind the medal positions in what is the first Olympic women’s golf tournament for 116 years.
“It was tricky with that wind,” said Hull. “I am in tied fifth position which is great going into the final round. I am only five behind the lead so anything can happen.”
The medal hunt looks over for Team GB’s other woman in the field Catriona Matthew who finished with a round of 77 to lie on +1 for a share of 27th place.
The 46-year-old from North Berwick was playing well in the early stages but a triple bogey on the 12th hole cost her badly.
Team GB duo Kate French and Samantha Murray improved to secure top-ten finishes as the women’s modern pentathlon competition came to a close in Deodoro.
After disappointing efforts in the fencing ranking round first up on day 13, the Brits were faced with a mountain to climb, placed 18th and 31st respectively.
Olympic silver medallist from London 2012 Murray started her day with the fourth fastest time in the swim, then won eight consecutive matches in the fencing bonus round to claw her way up the leaderboard.
French rode clear in the showjumping to add the maximum 300 points to her tally before both Brits continued to make up more ground in the final running and shooting combination.
Having started the combination in ninth, French moved up to sixth overall, while Murray sailed through the field to finish ninth after starting in 18th.
“I’m really, really happy,” said French, who was making her Olympic debut in Rio. “I couldn’t have asked for any more after my fencing [on day 13] which wasn’t great.
“A medal was on my mind at the end. I did my best but I’m still really happy with sixth.”
Murray, who won World Championship gold in 2014, admitted she was proud of how she picked herself up after such a disappointing start to the competition.
“The fencing was just a nightmare and I went home feeling heartbroken to be honest,” said Murray. “After four years of sacrificing everything and all the hard work, I just wasn’t myself.
“But I ran my heart out there. I left it all out there and I shot pretty well as well considering it’s the Olympic Games. So I’m pleased with that and to finish top 10 is a really steady result.”
Tom Daley is going in search of absolute perfection after opening his campaign in diving’s blue-ribband men’s 10m platform in impressive style.
Daley, the Olympic bronze medallist in the event from London 2012, posted the best score of the preliminary round at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, 571.85.
That bettered the efforts of defending champion Qiu Bo by over seven points with Daley surpassing 90 on three occasions, 100 once as well as seeing some coveted tens.
Daley’s score would have won gold at London 2012 and silver at last year’s World Championships, where he took bronze and Bo won gold with a score of 587.
The semi-finals await the Brit with 12 of 18 advancing to the final and Daley admits he must improve the most minute elements of his list to better his Olympic bronze.
“I am really happy with the way it went. There is still more to come from it. The judges don’t really give out tens in a prelim so come to away with a few tens thrown into the mix there and a score of 571, I’m really happy with it,” he said.
“It is a good confidence boost and knowing that I can do it but I do that every day in training so it is about making sure I am consistent in the semi-finals, get through to the final and then more of the same.
“I am going to have to sharpen up, the littlest things out there, like my toe point, the littlest things the judges can be like is that a 9 or a 9.5, I’ll give it a 9. You want to make sure they think, no that was definitely a 10. I feel good and ready to get some of those scores.”
Team GB at Rio 2016: Day 15 Preview
The penultimate day of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has the potential to be the day of champions with Mo Farah, Nicola Adams, Tom Daley, Liam Heath and Bianca Walkden all within a great shout of claiming gold.
See our full preview here.