THERE were fewer medals for Team GB on Day 10 of the Rio games, although Charlotte Dujardin produced an imperious performance on long-term companion Valegro to become the second British woman to win three Olympic golds as she retained her individual dressage title.
Her routine scored an intimidating 93.857 per cent, a mark which has only been bettered twice in history, by Dujardin herself, and 14-year-old Valegro may now be retired after nine years of competition.
“It means the absolute world to me to come out here and finish off being individual gold medallist again,” said Dujardin. “I felt a huge amount of pressure and expectation.
“It could be one of last rides on Valegro. There is talk of retirement for him so for me to finish it in this way, it’s a really emotional time and I’m so happy.”
In the velodrome, a chippy Mark Cavendish finally achieved his dream of an Olympic medal after collecting silver in the six-discipline omnium, beating defending champion Lasse Hansen of Denmark into the bronze medal position in an event won by Italy’s Elia Viviani.
“I’m happy with silver,” said Cavendish. “I could have done more and on another day I might have been closer to gold but I have to be happy. I did everything I could in the race and ultimately I couldn’t have done any more. I have to be happy. Elia was better across the six disciplines. He deserved to win that Olympic gold.”
Team GB’s only other medal of the day came in the women’s hammer, as Sophie Hitchon broke the British record, throwing 74.54 metres to pick up a surprise bronze medal, and the delighted 25-year-old said: “I am over the moon, I can’t believe it.”
The athletics evening session was disrupted by torrential rain, and there was drama in the women’s 400 metre final as Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas literally threw herself over the line to take gold ahead of US star Allyson Felix, before Kenya’s David Rudisha retained his title in the men’s 800 metres.
The 56,000-capacity Olympic stadium only appeared to be a third full as the disappointing attendances continue in Rio, while earlier in the day several spectators suffered minor injuries when a suspended television camera plummeted to the ground.
Britain remain in second place in the medal table going into day 11, with their running total of 41 one ahead of their tally at the same stage in London.
The women’s hockey team remains on course to add to their bronze from 2012 as they defeated Spain 3-1 in their quarter final, after a nearby wildfire covered the playing surface with ash, while the men’s badminton pair of Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis also made the semi-finals after beating Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa.
Laura Trott also leads the women’s omnium at the halfway stage as she chases a record-breaking fourth Olympic gold medal.