Great Britain enjoyed their most successful ever day at an overseas Olympics, as they won five gold medals on a historic Sunday.
Max Whitlock became the first British gymnast to win Olympic gold as he took victory in the men’s individual floor with a thrilling performance, and swiftly followed that up win another gold in the pommel horse. Whitlock, 23, beat team-mate Louis Smith into second place, and the experienced Smith was clearly emotional at the end of the competition.
Shortly after, Justin Rose marked golf’s controversial return to the Olympics with a gold medal. He was neck-and-neck with Open winner Henrik Stenson throughout the last round, but eventually pulled away to take top spot, and take Great Britain’s tally for the day to three gold medals.
Great Britain were guaranteed a gold medal on the track, with the men’s individual sprint final pitting Scotland’s Callum Skinner against Jason Kenny. Kenny was the heir apparent to the throne vacated after Sir Chris Hoy’s retirement, and looked impressive throughout to take his fifth Olympic title. Britain have enjoyed another successful track campaign in 2016, with Kenny’s victory in an all-British final the icing on the proverbial cake.
Finally, Andy Murray overcame Juan Martin Del Potro in a lengthy final to take the men’s singles tennis title for the second Olympics in a row. The match lasted more than four hours, but the Wimbledon champion had too much quality for Del Potro. Murray could well be a shoo-in for a second successive BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy, after his Wimbledon and Olympic success, and with the Davis Cup semi-finals and US Open still to come, more silverware could end up in Murray’s trophy cabinet by the end of the year.
Only on London 2012’s “Super Saturday” have Britain claimed more gold medals in one day, and “Sensational Sunday” sees Great Britain sit second in the medals table.
Usain Bolt also defended his 100m title on Sunday night, beating rival Justin Gatlin in a time of 9.81 seconds. Bolt has a chance of completing the “Triple Triple” this week, as he looks to win the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m titles for the third Olympiad in a row. Bolt has previously stated that he will retire after next year’s World Championships, so this is his last shot at Olympic glory.
South African athlete Wayde van Niekerk nearly upstaged the Jamaican athlete by breaking the 400m world record on Sunday evening. The record had stood for 18 years, and van Niekerk produced a thrilling performance to win gold, in addition to his World Championships victory over the same distance last year, to win in a time of 43.03 seconds.
Sunday provided some memorable sporting moments, and will live long in the memory for years to come.