GB’s best Olympics ever?
Great Britain have surpassed the number of medals won in Beijing in 2008, but still have some way to go to top the number won at London 1908.
Team GB have made this the second most successful games in terms of medal hauls, with 48 already and five days of competition left. But in 1908, Great Britain massed a huge 146 medals, including 56 gold, 51 silver and 39 bronze.
The 1908 games can’t be made too much of a benchmark, because only 22 nations participated, and only 10 of those nations got medals.
Of those 22, five only brought one athlete, Russia brought four and Australia and South Africa brought 10.
676 competitors came from Great Britain, whilst USA, Germany and Sweden brought over 200 each. So no wonder we got such a good haul.
The best thing about London 2012, however, is that we haven’t excelled in the aquatics as we expected to, only achieving two bronze and one silver medal but then grabbed medals where we weren’t supposed to.
We were never meant to get medals in events like the canoe slalom, some equestrian events, gymnastics, shooting and tennis, but somehow, with the London crowd behind them, our athletes have come out tops.
The rowers have once again outdone themselves, getting nine medals (four gold, two silver and three bronze) and so did the cyclists, with 12 medals all together. Three medals in the road cycling and nine in the velodrome meant GB overcame the new rules put in place to stop them dominating the cycling.
So far in the athletics we have five medals in the men’s long jump, high jump and 10,000m and women’s 400m and heptathlon.
Unfortunately, our football teams have been knocked out, and wouldn’t you know it, the men didn’t win on penalties.
But there are so many more medals to play for at the Olympic park, and an almost nailed-on gold medal in the men’s 5,000m where Mo Farah goes for another double gold.
So far we’re sat pretty in third in the medals table, on 48 medals, 22 behind USA and 25 behind China.
I still think USA will win overall, because they’re coming into their own now that the athletics has started, and I’ll give it a maximum of two days before they’re back on top of the pile.
It’s been a surprise for me that Australia haven’t been as prolific as they usually are, with only four gold medals, but South Korea are fourth in the table, and more than 50% of their medals are gold (12 out of 23).
There are still a lot of medals to go for, and hopefully this will become Britains best ever Olympics, even though we will never beat our 146 medals 104 years ago.