Bradley Wiggins has become the most decorated British Olympian of all time while Katherine Grainger has topped the women’s standings after adding to their medal tallies in Rio.
Wiggins’ gold medal in the team pursuit event brings his total up to eight medals with five gold, one silver and two bronze – one more than Chris Hoy although with one fewer gold.
“It’s hard to come off now, two minutes ago, and not just spout a lot of clichés and emotional stuff you know but really like the last 12 months we’ve pretty much done everything together,” Wiggins said. “Training camps at altitude, early morning starts at the track, late finishes at the track before Christmas Day all for this you know, and we’re here and we’ve done it.”
Wiggins was in a jovial mood after the race doing impressions of sprinter Philip Hindes and, far from the tears which accompanied Sir Chris Hoy’s final medal, pulled a face on the podium.
Some athletes cry on the podium
Some belt out the anthem
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 13, 2016
Five in a row
Katherine Grainger now owns one gold medal and four silvers after coming second in the double skulls event at the Rio lagoon off the Copacabana – more than any woman in British Olympic history.
The pair could not equal Grainger’s gold medal success from London 2012 but the Brit was positive about her achievement.
She told the BBC: “I remember at the start of this campaign feeling that if I could come out with anything, a medal of any kind, it would probably be my greatest achievement.”
Both she and Wiggins have medalled in five successive Olympics since Sydney 2000 and for Grainger this is a feat which echoes her close friend and fellow rower Sir Steve Redgrave.
He spoke to her live on the BBC after the event and said: “What she’s done for the sport, what she’s done for women’s sport is just incredible and what she’s done for the sport of rowing is even higher.
“Immensely proud of her and love her to bits.”
Sir Steve Redgrave & Katherine Grainger share a moment… ? https://t.co/Ygo0dfYRrv
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 11, 2016
Close run races
Sir Bradley Wiggins’ team pursuit victory came in a world record time of 3.50.265.
The Australian team pushed them every second of the way though and it was unclear who would win right to the finish line.
A strong start had Great Britain on the back foot and, after taking the lead and Steven Burke dropping off the pace, Doull slipped off the back of Clancy and Wiggins’ wheels on the last lap and had to fight back to stop the clock and take the win.
Grainger and her skulls partner Victoria Thornley led the race until Poland overtook the pair right towards the end of the run to claim gold.
The Poles had pushed them through qualification but it was undoubtedly still frustrating to lose right at the last.
Both athletes are expected to retire from their respective sports soon or immediately after the Olympics.
Wiggins will bow out as arguably one of the greatest all-round cyclists of all time.
He can now boast a Tour de France victory, the hour record, sprint finish wins and Olympic and world time trial titles on the road along with all of his track successes.
What do you think? What legacies will Sir Bradley Wiggins and Katherine Granger leave in the world of sport? Have your say in the comments section below.