What Britain had hoped would be Rio’s Super Saturday was a slight disappointment for Jessica Ennis-Hill, who came second in the heptathlon, with Katharina Johnson-Thompson coming sixth. Greg Rutherford, too, wasn’t quite able to match his feat of four years ago, taking bronze. There were some amazing wins for Team GB. Mo Farah stumbled and fell in the 10,000m but amazingly recovered to win, while Laura Trott’s women’s pursuit team beat a clearly unimpressed American squad in the final of their event. Both Farah and Trott made history with their third Olympic wins.
However, the events of today are what everyone’s talking about. Namely, one young man who has put Great Britain on the map of men’s gymnastics, becoming the first British Olympic champion of all time. Max Whitlock won not one, but two gold medals for floor and pommel horse just days after winning the bronze medal for the all-around men’s gymnastics final last week. The 23-year-old will no doubt go on to inspire a new generation of British gymnasts, with his amazing routines that showed his strength, skill and agility, performed flawlessly exactly when it counted. British gymnastics is going from strength to strength, and hopefully Whitlock will continue to beat his main rivals in Tokyo in 2020, including Japan’s Kohei Uchimura.
A mention too for Louis Smith, who claimed an excellent silver medal behind Whitlock on pommel horse. Smith has been the poster boy for British gymnastics since Beijing in 2008, where he won bronze so unexpectedly, and he deserved to be on the podium alongside his team-mate after a difficult few years.
Whitlock’s efforts propelled Great Britain to second in the medal table, ahead of China. Rio 2016 has had its fair share of excitement, and Team GB will continue to do well in the games as the athletics takes off in earnest this week.