Charlotte Worthington confirmed the start of Sunday’s Olympics with a gold medal in the BMX park freestyle women’s final, while Duncan Scott went on to help Great Britain make history in the lake.
Worthington fell in his first run but found himself back on a 360-degree backflip in his second to score 97.50.
- Declan Brooks then took bronze at the men’s event, the fourth GB BMX medal.
- The eighth GB swimming medal in Tokyo came with a silver men’s 4x100m medley relay.
That makes it their most successful Games and means that Scott has won more Olympic medals than any other British competitor.
three gold and silver pieces
The 24-year-old, who signed for three gold and silver pieces, was part of a quartet that included Adam Peaty, Luke Greenbank and James Guy who were crowned by the USA.
British boxer Ben Whittaker also secured at least a silver medal by beating Imam Khataev, of the Russian Olympic Committee, to reach Tuesday’s 81kg final.
Pat McCormack will once again fight for gold in the men’s elterweight division after Ireland’s Aidan Walsh pulled out of their semi-final with an ankle injury, while Frazer Clarke reached the super-heavyweight final after being rejected by France’s Mourad Aliev.
British BMX medal bonanza
Worthington said he was trying to find a “big trick” to bring Olympic gold but an unprecedented 360-degree relay left him on the run for one run.
- Undeterred, the 25-year-old continued the process in her second run, becoming the first woman to give it a competitive edge, and registered 97.50 points.
- “It was unbelievable,” said Worthington, who watched as four of his rivals – including American rival Hannah Roberts – failed to take his place.
“I’ve been doing that for a long time but we’ve been trying to find that great strategy and when we did we thought, ‘this is it’. If it weren’t for Hannah Roberts we wouldn’t be doing these tricks or being here.”
It was the culmination of years of hard work for Worthington, who had turned up late at BMX and who worked as a cook “sweating in the kitchen more than 40 hours a week” before focusing on the sport.
- “It’s hard work that is paid. In cycling, yes, it’s hard work but I feel like my work has benefited me,” he added.
After watching the game go on, Brooks added Britain’s fourth BMX medal – after Bethany Shriever and Kye Whyte in the race – to a stunning Games.
- I cried a few minutes ago,” Brooks, 25, told BBC Sport after his bronze confirmation.
Slam Dunc for GB swimmers
Regular visits to the Tokyo Aquatics Center for the games have seen Britain position itself as one of the most powerful sports venues in Japan.
- They may be the third most distant at the medal table for the USA and Australia, but the eighth trip to the podium marks the most successful national Olympics.
- The American team needed a three-minute world record time of 26.78 seconds to beat the British quartet in the men’s men’s medley 4x100m.
But the silver medal won the prestigious British Games, finishing with four gold, three silver and bronze having won one gold in Rio five years ago.
It also recorded an Olympic record-breaking event for Scott, his four medals that drew the British man in one sport and took him to six overall.
Only Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny won some.
“I have a lot of partners in the team,” Scott told BBC Sport. “I’m very fortunate to be part of a team that plays very well.”
The American victory means American star Caeleb Dressel joins fellow countrymen Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi, and Kristin Otto of East Germany, as the only swimmers to win five golds in one Olympic.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Emma McKeon made history as the first woman to swim to win seven medals at the Olympics, claiming four gold and three bronze medals.
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