Max Whitlock leads Team GB gold rush in Rio

Britain's Max Whitlock stands with his national flag after winning gold in the pommel horse. Picture: AP
Britain's Max Whitlock stands with his national flag after winning gold in the pommel horse. Picture: AP
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Gymnast Max Whitlock was the toast of the Olympic Games last night, winning two gold medals in the space of just an hour and a half on what was a vintage day for Team GB.

Golfer Justin Rose and cyclist Jason Kenny also won their events – taking Britain’s gold medal tally in Rio de Janeiro to an impressive 14 – but it was Whitlock who stole the show at the city’s Gymnastics Arena.

At 6.50pm, Whitlock became the first British male to win an Olympic medal on the floor when he claimed a surprise gold with a score of 15.633. Then, at 8.13pm, the 23-year-old Englishman won gold on the pommel horse with a score of 15.966, pipping team-mate Louis Smith who had to settle for silver with 15.833.

“I have completely outdone myself,” said Whitlock, who also won a bronze medal on the individual all-around last week. “I am very proud and it’s incredible.

“I had to refocus [after the first gold]. I had another job to do. Now I can take both of them in at the same time. The emotion hit me when I realised what I had done.”

Sandwiched between Whitlock’s double celebration was Rose’s thrilling two-shot success at the Olympic Golf Course, as the world’s No 12 golfer won the sport’s first gold medal since 1904.

In a final round that was tense from the opening hole, the 36-year-old hit a pitch to three feet for birdie on the par-5 18th hole for a four-under 67 and a narrow triumph­ over Ryder Cup team-mate Henrik Stenson.

Later in the evening, Kenny joined Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Bradley Wiggins in winning five gold medals when he defeated Glasgow-born ­Callum Skinner in the final of the men’s sprint. Kenny won the best-of-three duel 2-0.

Great Britain’s ‘Super ­Sunday’ followed an impressive Saturday showing too, with gold medals from the women’s cycling pursuit team, the men’s eight rowers and Mo Farah on the track in the 10,000 metres.

In sailing, meanwhile, Giles Scott has won gold in the Finn with a race to spare, although his medal won’t be officially added to the tally until tomorrow, while Britain also won three silver medals last night. As well as Smith’s on the pommel horse and Skinner’s on the cycling track, Nick Dempsey finished second in the men’s RS:X windsurfing event.