TEAM GB have picked up their first medals at the Rio Olympics, after Adam Peaty smashed his own world record in the 100m breaststroke final to shave a full four tenths of a second off the mark he set in the heats, finishing in a stupendous time of 57.13 seconds.
The remainder of the field trailed far behind the 21-year-old, as Peaty became the first British man to bag an Olympic swimming gold since Adrian Moorhouse in 1988, with the result never in doubt once he stormed into the lead after 25m, as the Uttoxeter-born hero continued his remarkable run of winning every major 100m race he has contested since summer 2014.
Peaty was scared of water as a child, but the world, European and Commonwealth has now completed an extraordinary clean sweep, and after the race he said: “It’s so surreal to get Team GB’s first gold.
“I came out tonight and took the first 50 easy and came back with everything I have got. I did it for my country and that means so much for me.”
There was further joy for the British swimming team as Welsh swimmer Jazz Carlin took silver in the women’s 400m freestyle, as she held off the USA’s Leah Smith to claim second place behind another American swimmer, Kate Ledecky, who won in a world record time of 3:58.71.
Unfortunately, the Olympic spirit has taken something of a bashing already at this year’s games, with controversial Russian swimmer Yuliya Efimova, who was only cleared to compete on Saturday, August 6 after winning an appeal against a doping ban, booed before she won her 100m breaststroke semi-final.
Afterwards, she wagged her finger in a ‘Number One’ gesture, prompting US rival Lilly King responding with a sarcastic wag of her own as she prepared to compete in the second semi, before telling the BBC “You wave your finger ‘No1’ and you’ve been caught drug cheating … I’m not a fan.”
China then accused Australia of being ‘on the fringes of civilisation’ after gold medallist Mack Horton criticised bronze medal winner Sun Yang over a past doping affair following the Men’s 400m freestyle final.
Elsewhere, Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten is recovering in hospital following a horrific crash in the women’s road race, after she lost control on a steep descent while in the lead, allowing her team mate Anna Van Der Breggen to take gold, with Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead finishing fifth after a controversial couple of weeks during which it was revealed that she missed three drugs tests in the last year.
Among the other Brits in action on Day Two of the 2016 games, fencer Richard Kruse was unlucky to miss out on bronze after losing 15-13 to Russia’s Timur Safin, while William Fox-Pitt is sitting pretty in the gold medal position after the two dressage rounds in the individual eventing, with the cross country and show jumping to come.
In tennis, Andy and Jamie Murray crashed out of the doubles, but Andy won his first round singles match in straight sets with a 6-3 6-2 win over Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, as world number one Novak Djokovic was left in tears after losing to Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.