Team GB rakes in biggest daily medal haul so far at Tokyo Olympics
Team GB has raked in its biggest medal haul for a single day at the Tokyo Olympics, with athletes bringing home eight medals on Tuesday.
Teenager Keely Hodgkinson claimed second place in the 800 metres and smashed the long-held national record while gold, silver and bronze medals were scooped across sailing, track cycling, boxing and diving events.
Hodgkinson, 19, clocked one minute 55.88 seconds to finish behind winner Athing Mu of the US – beating Kelly Holmes’ 1995 record of one minute 56.21 seconds.
The rising star, who has gone from being virtually unknown to claiming a podium place at the Olympics, said: “That was such a good race from every single person in that race, it was so open and I wanted to leave it all out there.
“It’s going to take a couple of days to sink in but I’m so happy.
“I’m pretty speechless right now. Kelly Holmes is a legend, she’s going to be a legend for British athletics for a long time.”
Hodgkinson, who was pictured curling her eyelashes in preparation for the race, added: “I don’t normally cry – my friends will be wondering what I’m crying for.”
The sailing also sparked tearful scenes as proud family members watched Giles Scott win gold in the men’s Finn class, Britain’s sixth successive title in the event, shortly after Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell clinched first in the men’s 49er.
Bithell’s parents Vivian and Leslie saw the pair take the narrow victory from Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club near Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
Mrs Bithell, 68, told the PA news agency: “It’s been really exciting and we are absolutely delighted.
“We’ve spoken to him on Facetime and he’s absolutely beaming and can’t believe it, he said himself it’s not sunk in yet, so there’s going to be some celebrations going on in the next week or so.”
Bithell’s partner Katherine Kimber cracked open the champagne to celebrate at Parkstone Yacht Club in Poole, Dorset, telling Good Morning Britain: “It was just so tense right into the last second, it was just amazing to watch.”
The race was postponed 24 hours due to low wind and Fletcher’s mother Jane spoke of the agonising wait to see her son in action.
She told the ITV show: “We were in the shaking position yesterday morning and then we had to stop shaking and then start shaking again this morning.
“I haven’t stopped! I’ve been blubbing all over the place, it’s amazing.”
Meanwhile, Scott finished fourth in his medal race to end the event on 45 points overall, just three points ahead of second place in a nail-biting finish.
The 34-year-old retained the title he won at Rio 2016, finishing ahead of Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz and Spain’s Joan Cardona Mendez.
Scott, from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, said: “I made it by the skin of my teeth, it was properly to the wire, it was really tight. I tried to stay relaxed but I’ve never been involved in a boat race as close as that.”
Scott’s father John, 69, who watched from the National Sailing Academy in Weymouth with his wife Ros, said: “I’m afraid I was up at 2.30am, I couldn’t sleep – but fortunately there was plenty on the telly, so I was watching all the sport, getting ready for this ride.
“I’m proud for him as much I’m proud of him … he’s shown his mettle by coming back into this boat, and after a really rocky first day, showing why he was defending Olympic champion.”
The couple spoke to their son via video call after his victory, when Mr Scott said his son told him “I’m relieved to see I didn’t give you a heart attack”.
Olympic debutants John Gimson and Anna Burnet also claimed a silver in the mixed Nacra 17 class, behind Italians Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti.
Ms Burnet’s mother Louise from Shandon, Gare Loch, in Scotland, said she was “completely over the moon” after the “awesome result”.
Mrs Burnet told PA: “We would never ever have dreamed of this happening. I’m a very proud mum.”
Pat McCormack also placed second after losing his welterweight final against Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias.
The top seed at 69kg was satisfied with winning silver – one of six medals guaranteed for Team GB’s boxers at these Games, equalling their best-ever overseas haul – and signalled his intention to leave the amateur ranks to turn professional.
Elsewhere, Great Britain struck silver in the velodrome, with cyclist Jason Kenny equalling Sir Bradley Wiggins’ record medal tally of eight.
He missed the first of his three chances to move clear of Sir Chris Hoy’s Olympic gold medal tally as Team GB came second in the men’s team sprint, while his wife Laura Kenny and the women’s team pursuit squad also had to settle for silver.
There was another medal in the pool as Harrogate’s Jack Laugher, 26, bagged the third Olympic medal of his diving career with bronze in the men’s 3m springboard final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Team GB athletes for “putting a smile on the faces of millions of people across the country” in a video message posted on Twitter.
He told them in a 40-second clip: “You are putting a smile on the faces of millions of people across this country with quite sensational performances in the pool, in the gymnastics, in the eventing, BMX, heaven knows what.
“You are producing medal-winning performance after medal-winning performance and I just want to say congratulations, keep going, we’re all rooting for you.”