Team GB cyclists power to victory in Rio velodrome


Great Britain got off to a flying start at the velodrome after scooping gold in the men's team sprint at the Rio Olympics.

Jason Kenny, Phil Hindes and Callum Skinner pedalled their way to victory - adding to the country's haul of medals at the games.

The trio set a new Olympic record with a time of 42.440 seconds. New Zealand, the world champions, had to settle for silver, finishing just 0.102 seconds behind.

Britain's three-man, three-lap team sprint squad have a habit of peaking every four years and did so again as Kenny, 28, claimed his fourth Olympic gold.

Earlier in the day rower Katherine Grainger became the country's most successful woman Olympian after claiming a silver medal with her partner Victoria Thornley.

The pair came agonisingly close to gold in the women's 2,000m double sculls, but were beaten by Poland by just half a boat length.

Grainger, 40, now has one gold and four silver medals from her five Olympic Games - taking the title of most decorated female British Olympian from swimmer Rebecca Adlington.

The athlete and her 28-year-old rowing partner were tipped for glory and led the race at Rio almost all the way through, but the Polish crew edged ahead at the end - leaving a mere 0.95s gap between the boats.

Their journey to Brazil has been bumpy: they abandoned their double scull project midway through the season but reformed after failing to qualify for seats in the eight.

Grainger returned to the sport less than two years ago having completed a PhD in the sentencing of homicide at King's College London.

Speaking from her home in Edinburgh, Grainger's mother Liz said she felt "tension and then slight disbelief that she was in medal position" during the race.

"We're thrilled to get a silver medal," she said.

"Four silvers and a gold so no-one can complain about that. She was interviewed after the race and she said a few months ago she would've just died at the thought of getting any medals, so to get a silver and so close to gold is pretty exceptional."

But she said it was a "relief" that Grainger had promised not to put her mother through another Olympics.

Stewart Harris, sportscotland's chief executive, said he was "delighted" to watch Grainger win silver at the Lagoa Stadium in Rio.

"Katherine is now Britain's most decorated female Olympian, an accolade that has come as the result of her complete commitment and dedication to her sport. Katherine is an incredible role model, inspiring others to be the best that they can be and leading by example."

Medals were also brought home by David Florence and Richard Hounslow who scooped silver in the men's canoe double C2 at the Rio Olympics.

The medallists, both 34, were unable to improve on their result at the London games four years ago where they also won silver.

Florence and Hounslow finished just 0.43 seconds behind gold medallists Ladislav Skantar and Peter Skantar from Slovakia.

Despite being trounced by Fiji 43-7, Team GB  took home a silver medal in the men's rugby sevens as their defeat was in the final.