The conveyor belt of gold medals being churned out by Team GB has brought a wave of jealousy from rivals who have been left behind by Our Greatest Team – and that is the real measure of how far Great Britain has come at London 2012.
Following the impressive superiority of our rowers at Eton Dorney, it’s the turn of our spell-binding cycling team to show the rest of the world that our super-talented athletes are simply the best.
For bitter rivals France to question Team GB’s success by casting aspersions is out of order. It is a blatant dose of sour grapes and it is worth reminding everyone that during the opening days of London 2012 the French were quick to ridicule a slow start by the Brits.
France’s cycling chief, Isabelle Gautheron, said she was ‘perplexed’ by the dominance in the Velodrome by the likes of Dani King, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Victoria Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy insisting: ‘They have not dominated the last four years – they were among the best teams with Australia, Germany and France. Here, they crush everyone. Girls, especially, are four seconds ahead in the pursuit.
‘It’s good for them. Do they have a technology? A secret preparation? We have to do sports intelligence to know how they can be so strong.’
The French media have joined in the mischief by asking what they might be ‘missing’ that has propelled British athletes to triumph.
Champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis has also been the target of French finger pointing, with journalist Thierry Vautrat posting on Twitter: ‘Ennis? She’s a bit unreal. Wonder how she could win the 800m so easily, with no pain. Surprising.’
It’s a sharp contrast to the comments by their president Françoise Hollande who taunted Britain over his country’s early success before Team GB’s first gold, saying London had ‘rolled out a red carpet for French athletes to win medals’.
The Australians have also been eating humble pie after their team pursuit star Jack Bobridge threw down the challenge to GB’s cycling team by declaring: “We are ready and confident and, yeah, let’s stick it to the Poms.”
So far a silver for Bobridge and two bronze medals are the the only return for Australia in the velodrome, while Team GB have cleaned up.
Jason Kenny succeeds Sir Chris Hoy in individual pursuit
Today it was the turn of Jason Kenny to win a glorious gold in the men’s individual sprint, taking GB’s medal haul by the track cycling team to five of the seven gold medals competed for. King Kenny, selected ahead of Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, beat France’s Gregory Bauge in the final – so I’m wondering how our European neighbours will react this time.
Laura Trott was also in spectacular form on day 10 and leads at the half-way stage in the omnium, winning two of the three opening events.The world champion is the red hot favourite to win her second gold of the Games on Tuesday.
One man not surprised by the dominance of the British cycling team is performance director Dave Brailsford who said: “We have got our timing right again, and we are peaking coming into the Games, which is the important thing.”
Team GB’s first showjumping Olympic gold for 50 years
Meanwhile, it’s been an historic day for Britain’s showjumpers who won their first Olympic gold since 1952 in Helsinki.
Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Peter Charles made up the winning team that beat Netherlands in a thrilling jump off at Greenwich Park.
“I’ve waited 54 years for this so you can certainly say it was a long time coming,” said Skelton, 54, who was competing in his sixth Olympic Games.