Please sit down before reading this. Great Britain is third in the Olympic medal table. There's only China and the US ahead of us at the moment. Such lofty attainment is almost certainly unique in the years since we last held the Games ourselves in 1948. It's getting to the point where hard won silver and bronze medals in particular are having to fight to be noticed amongst headlines dripping with gold. Team London, however, is delighted to fully recognise the achievements of all its members, and so it is that we salute the silver medal won by the men's rowing eight including Brunel student Tom Stallard and Army captain Alastair Heathcote just as much as the golds voraciously claimed by rower-turned-cyclist Rebecca Romero and Thames Waterman & Lighterman from the Isle of Dogs, Mark Hunter, with his colleague Zac Purchase in the men's lightweight double sculls. Hunter's effort had been so great that Purchase had to pull him out of the boat as they attempted to disembark. The men's lightweight four with Jameses Clarke and Lindsay-Fynn held third for a while but eventually finished fifth as did the women's eight who had to cope with the loss of Thames Rowing Club's Alison Knowles and Thames Scullers School's Natasha Howard to overnight flu symptoms.
Our 21 oarsfolk can now bow out of the Games with pride and a haul of two golds, two bronzes and a silver. Our cyclists so far have provided us with a further silver and a gold, which may well be added to today by Rebecca Romero going for another medal in the somewhat bewildering points race which sets off at 9:30am (all times BST) and should last about half an hour.
You should probably sit down again now if you've stood up for another British gold medal ceremony in the meantime. There was some sailing yesterday. No, honestly. Sadly, though, our London sailors are struggling to get on terms with the medal contenders. Windsurfer Bryony Shaw is the best placed, though she has dropped from fifth to sixth with four races to go. Andrew Simpson in the Star and Will Howden in the Tornado have longer to make up ground, but more ground to make up as they lie eighth and eleventh respectively. After the conditions turned from stationary to stormy yesterday there should be further racing between about 5am and noon today, but it's best not to take these things as read.
Photo via Martin Dougiamas's Flickr stream.
Whatever the classification system out in Hong Kong, Ben Maher and the British male show jumpers are showing themselves well suited to it as a round with only one fence down from Ben yesterday helped Britain to fourth place in the team event, the final round of which starts at 12:15pm today and should take about three hours. As they set off the women's hockey team should be in the closing stages in their match against the USA which starts at 11am. Our ladies must first win and then hope other results go their way to qualify for the semi-finals, though sadly the men are already out having allowed Canada, something of a recent bogey team, to claim their first point of the tournament.
Over at the Bird's Nest, by our breakfast time we should know how our heralded triple jumping pair of former Commonwealth champion Larry Achike and current world indoor champion, Phillips Idowu are shaping up after their qualifying round between 3 and 4:15am. Commonwealth and European bronze medallist Andy Turner goes in the first round of the 110m hurdles between 4:10 and 5am, while Natasha Danvers hopes to continue yesterday's impressive 400m hurdling form in the semi-finals at 1:45pm. Sarah Claxton, who has performed to her very best in reaching the semi-final of the 100m hurdles goes for a place in the last eight at 12:45pm. Congratulations to Jeanette Kwakye on a marvellous sixth place in the women's 100m yesterday. We look forward to seeing what she can do on home soil in four years' time. Christine Ohuruogu and Andy Baddeley progressed to their Tuesday finals as did the high jump pair of Germaine Mason and Martyn Bernard, with Mason looking particularly impressive and possibly in line for a surprise medal.