8:00am Monday 13th August 2012
By Scott Wilson
THEY were billed as “our greatest team” in the build up to the Olympic Games, and they certainly didn't disappoint.
Team GB finished London 2012 with a total of 65 medals – 29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze – and moved above Russia to claim third position in the final medal table.
Rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning claimed Britain's opening gold, with boxer Anthony Joshua winning number 29 in the ExCel Arena yesterday afternoon.
The performance of the British team exceeded even the most optimistic of pre-Games predictions, and cemented the hosts' place as one of the world's leading Olympic nations.
Chef de mission Andy Hunt said: “This is our greatest performance of our greatest team at the greatest Olympics ever.
“The performance of the athletes has been extraordinary and the collaboration across British sport to make it happen has been like nothing we've ever seen before. Combine that with the support of the British public, and it's been magical.”
When Britain finished fourth on the medal table in Beijing, it was feared they would struggle to achieve as much success again despite enjoying home advantage in London.
However, thanks to a string of sensational performances across a wide range of sports, the final medal tally is the highest for 104 years.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It has been an extraordinary few weeks for our country. When I started looking at this, I was impressed with coming fourth in Beijing.
“Think about that for a minute. We're a country of 60m people and we are up against (the likes of) Russia, Germany, China, America and India. Coming fourth in the world was, I thought, pretty amazing, and I thought holding on to fourth place would be a huge challenge. Yet this year we've produced incredible results.”
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