Team GB on the brink of history

Western Telegraph: Phillips Idowu will take part in qualifying for the triple jump. Photo: PA Phillips Idowu will take part in qualifying for the triple jump. Photo: PA

Britain is on the brink of history as the host nation looks set to make the London 2012 Games its most successful in more than 100 years.

Hundreds of thousands of fans will be hoping British victories in the triathlon, dressage and cycling will boost Team GB's gold medal haul past the 19 achieved in Beijing four years ago.

It comes after the British showjumping team leapt to a glorious gold in a nailbiting jump-off and cyclist Jason Kenny rode to victory in the final of the men's sprint.

Asked why Britain was doing so well and what had changed, gymnast Beth Tweddle, who won an Olympic bronze medal on Monday, told ITV's Daybreak: "There are a lot of factors - obviously, the belief within the camp, the support of the coaches behind us - but the National Lottery has made a massive difference.

"Every athlete doesn't have to get a job and train at the same time, our coaches are able to coach full-time. So my coach, Amanda, she is in the gym with me 24/7, she is not having to worry 'I have go to go elsewhere before I can coach Beth'."

On the last day of action in the Olympic Velodrome, a trio of Britons are going for gold as Team GB stands third overall with 40 medals - 18 gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze - behind the powerhouses of China and the US. Track queen Victoria Pendleton will bow out from the sport with a sprint finish as she bids to become Britain's most decorated female Olympian.

Five-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy will also be hoping to make it six in the keirin, while 20-year-old world champion Laura Trott is top of the standings going into the final day of the omnium.

Elsewhere, fans will see brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee start as hot favourites for gold and silver in the triathlon as they swim, bike and run around Hyde Park and some of London's iconic sights. Reigning world champion Alistair, from Horsforth, West Yorkshire, went into the Games as one of the host nation's best hopes for gold after dominating his sport for the last three years.

Carl Hester, the 45-year-old stalwart of British dressage, is aiming for a career-crowning ride in his fourth Olympics as he goes for a team medal alongside Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Bechtolsheimer. The Britons lead the team event, having never previously won an Olympic dressage medal.

In the Olympic Stadium, 20-year-old former rugby player Lawrence Okoye, who has deferred a place at Oxford to study law to concentrate on athletics, will go for gold in the discus after producing a throw of 65.28 metres to go through to the final automatically. Phillips Idowu, the so-called "Invisible Man" of British athletics, who only arrived in the village at the weekend, will also finally be seen as he tries to jump 17.10m to qualify automatically for Thursday's final.

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