Olympic Roundup: Records set by home team

LONDON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The home-field advantage manifested itself in a big way at the Olympics Tuesday, playing a part in records set both individually and collectively.

Cyclist Chris Hoy earned the sixth gold medal of his career, more than anybody else representing Britain at the Olympics has ever won.


And with four victories around and about the city, Britain boosted its gold medal total for the London Games to 22. That is three more than it has ever won in the modern era.

The two-year winning streak for a Germany discus thrower was extended, but the run of victories on the diving board ended for China and German dominance in the most elegant of Olympic events came to a halt as well.

It was in that formal gathering, the equestrian dressage competition, that Britain won one of its four gold medals Tuesday. It came in the team event, where horses perform precise steps to their rider's commands.

Except for the boycotted Olympics of 1980, Germany had won the team dressage at every Olympics since 1972.

The British victory, however, symbolized the success -- some quite unexpected -- being enjoyed by the athletes performing in front of the home fans.


When the Olympics were held in London in 1908, British athletes won 56 gold medals. But there was hardly any competition since only 20 countries managed to win a gold, silver or bronze.

It is a lot different these days and since 1908 the best British showing had been the 19 gold medals won four years ago in Beijing.

A total of 73 countries have won at least one medal thus far in London, including three that won their first of the Games on Tuesday -- Finland, Algeria and Morocco.

So the 22 gold medals and 48 overall won by the British is a tremendous feat.

Hoy's record sixth gold came in the Keirin cycling race, one in which a motorcycle paces the riders until the final few laps and then they go wild trying to get to the finish line. He has now won one more gold medal that rowing hero Steve Redford.

The victory by Hoy came in the final day of track cycling, where British riders won seven times in 10 opportunities.

For the first time in diving at these Olympics, someone other than a Chinese competitor stepped to the top of the podium.

Ilya Zakharov of Russia defeated the gold and bronze winners from 2008, both of them Chinese. The possibility exists that China might lose another diving event at these Games since defending champion Mathew Mitcham of Australia is set to go in the platform event later this week.


The winning streak of Robert Harting, however, continued during the evening of track and field.

Harting has not lost a competition since 2010, although the big German needed a big throw on his next-to-last attempt Tuesday to move past Iran's Ehsan Hadadi into first place.

The lone United States gold medal during the day came in the final artistic gymnastics competition of the Olympics. Aly Raisman won the floor exercise final after receiving a bronze medal earlier when her score was boosted after the competition.

That allowed her to replace Romania's Catalina Ponor for third place. Ponor then finished second to Raisman in the floor exercise.

The Americans stayed close to China in both the gold medal race (34 to 30) and the overall medal total (73 to 70).

United States hopes were high that a host of team medals were on the way since the women's basketball, water polo and volleyball teams all reached the semifinals Tuesday.

The American men in those three sports could do the same thing Wednesday. The U.S. women's soccer team will be going after the gold medal against Japan on Wednesday as well and it will be an all-American final in women's beach volleyball, where Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings will be seeking their third straight Olympic title.


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