Wiggins Makes History as Britain Wins First Golds at London 2012
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Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins doubled Britain’s gold medal tally, just hours after the host nation won its first event at the London Olympics on Wednesday.
With his seventh Olympic medal, four of them gold, Wiggins is now the most decorated British Olympian, while the morning’s medal ensured Heather Stanning and Helen Glover became the first British female rowers to win an Olympic title.
Wiggins had been the favorite for gold after winning both time trial stages en route to becoming Britain’s first Tour de France Champion last month this year, and his dominance was clear to see as he finished eight seconds ahead of the Germany’s 2011 world champion Tony Martin.
Wiggins’ teammate Chris Froome claimed the bronze, as former Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara ended a disappointing seventh. The Swiss rider injured his shoulder in Saturday’s road race and was clearly in pain when he crossed finish line. American Taylor Phinney finished fourth, nine seconds off a podium place.
Earlier, 27-year-old Stanning and Glover, 26, established an imperious lead from the start in the coxless pair’s. — stretching it to as much as two lengths at one point — as they opened Britain’s gold medal account.
Australia’s Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait claimed silver, with Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand a mere 0.33 seconds behind in third.
Tens of thousands of British fans — eager for a first victory for the Olympic hosts — had lined the banks of Eton Dorney to witness the Britons finish in 7:27.13, three seconds ahead of Australia.
Moments later Britain were on the podium again, as the men’s eights put in a battling performance in the to claim bronze, behind a resurgent Canada in second and a dominant German team in first.
Britain’s cycling and rowing medal successes helped GB move up in the medal table from 21st to 10th, with hopes high that there could be more medals for the hosts at the Aquatics Center in Wednesday’s evening session.