Ten days after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France Bradley Wiggins sparked wild celebrations in London when the 32-year-old won gold in the men’s Olympic individual time-trial.
The pre-race favourite didn’t disappoint the thousands of spectators lining the streets as the three-time Olympic track champion bombed round the 44 kilometre course to and from Hampton court Palace in 50 minutes 39.54 seconds.
Defending champion Tony Martin of Germany took silver a massive 42 seconds behind while Tour de France runner up Chris Froome, also of Britain, won bronze for a successful day on the road for the Olympic host nation. With his latest gold Wiggins becomes Britain’s most decorated Olympian with seven career medals.
American Kristin Armstrong won the women’s time trial event successfully retaining her Olympic title.
The Beijing champion beat world champion Judith Arndt of Germany who finished 15 seconds behind for silver.
Russian Olga Zabelinskaya, the road race bronze medallist, claimed bronze again, 22 seconds off the pace.
The golden celebrations had started before Wiggins stormed through the streets of London. Earlier in the day Helen Glover and Heather Stanning thrashed the field to win the women’s rowing pair – for Britain’s first gold of the Games.
Stanning, an army captain who may be sent to Afghanistan next year, only got together with Glover in 2010. Despite the short time together the pair were favourites for the race after dominating the international season. They then rang the warning bells in their heat in which they set an Olympic record.
Stanning and Glover were in stunning form again in the final and crossed the line almost three seconds clear of Australia in silver and New Zealand who claimed bronze.
Germany powered to victory in the blue-riband Olympic men’s eight on Dorney Lake holding off the field in a thrilling sprint finish. Germany started the race as overwhelming favourites after winning the last three world championships and going unbeaten in their world cup races since 2009. Despite the huge amount of pressure in the second half of the race the Germans held on to claim gold ahead of Beijing Olympic champions Canada in silver and Britain who struggled towards the line and slipped back to third.
Elsewhere at Dorney Lake Ukraine won gold in the women’s quadruple sculls. Germany won the silver and The United States won bronze.
Daniel Gyurta of Hungary won the men’s 200 metres breaststroke in world record time.
Gyurta touched the wall in a lightning fast two minutes, 07.28 seconds to shave three hundreths of a second of the previous mark set by Australia’s Christian Sprenger in 2009. Michael Jamieson of Britain won silver while Japan’s Ryo Tateishi clinched bronze.
Nathan Adrian continued the United States fine showing at the Aquatics centre when he won the men’s 100 metres freestyle gold medal.
In taking the gold he became the first American to win the blue-riband sprint event for nearly a quarter of a century.
Australia’s world champion James Magnussen touched home for the silver medal a mere one hundreths of a second behind while Canada’s Brent Hayden clinched bronze.
China’s Jiao Liuyang won the women’s 200 metres butterfly in a new Olympic record time offering her powerhouse nation yet another gold whilst adding the Olympic gold to her world title she won last year. Spain’s Mirieia Belmonte Garcia was leading at the final turn but in the end had to settle for silver. Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi clinched bronze.
In the last swimming final of the evening Team USA won the women’s 4×200 metres freestyle relay in a new Olympic record time of seven minutes and 42.92 seconds. It was the eighth medal in the pool for the Americans. Australia gave the US a stiff challenge and with two laps to go were leading the race. However Allison Schmitt, who won the 200-metre freestyle gold, overtook her Aussie rival on the anchor leg to take gold. France won bronze.
China kept themselves on course for a clean sweep of the diving titles when Lou Yutong and Qin Kai won the men’s synchronised three-metre springboard gold on Wednesday.
Lou and Qin scored a winning total of 477 points, which included a forward four and a half somersault that earned them 104.88 points, the highest mark awarded to any dive in the London pool so far.
Russian pair Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Zakharov took the silver with 459.63 points while American pair Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen rounded off the podium.
Italy’s Daniele Molmenti won gold in men’s canoe slalom, kayak single title at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. The former world champion produced a flawless run through the 23 gates to cross the line in a winning time of 93.43 seconds. Vavrinec Hradilek of the Czech Republic took silver with Germany’s Hannes Aigner in bronze.
Kohei Uchimura confirmed his status as one of the best male gymnast of his generation after winning the men’s individual all-around title. The five time world champion from Japan took the lead after the third rotation and never looked back.
Marcel Nguyen claimed Germany’s first silver medal in the event since the 1904 Games while American Danell Leyva won bronze.
In Judo South Korea’s Song Dae-Nam beat Cuba’s Asley Gonzalez to win the men’s 90kg category. World number one and triple world champion Lucie Decosse handed France their first gold from the tatami when the 30-year-old, who celebrate her birthday on Monday, defeated Germany’s Kerstin Thiele to win the women’s 70kg event.
China’s Lu Xiaojun broke his own men’s snatch weightlifting world record for the 77 kg division by lifting 175 kg en route to the gold medal. Lu Xiaojun, who had set the previous mark of 174 kg at the world championships three years ago, won with a combined total weight of 379kg across the two styles of lift. North Korea’s Rim Jong Sim won women’s weightlifting 69kg title
South Korea’s Kim Jang-mi beat China’s defending champion Chen Ying to seal the women’s 25 metre pistol gold. Ukraine’s Olena Kostevych rounded off the podium picking up second bronze of the games after her third-place finish in the 10m air pistol on Sunday.
China’s Li Xiaoxia won the Olympic gold medal in the women’s table tennis singles after a five set victory over compatriot Ding Ning, who had to settle for the silver.
South Korea’s Kim Jiyeon beat Russian Sofya Velikaya 15-9 to win the Olympic women’s sabre gold on Wednesday. Meanwhile Venezuela’s Ruben Limardo Gascon ended his country’s 44-year wait for a gold medal when he defeated Norway’s Bartosz Piasecki 15-10 to win the men’s epee title for the nation’s first ever fencing medal.
London 2012: Day five