Nation hails Mr Invincible

team GB is celebrating its first gold medals of London 2012 after cyclist Bradley Wiggins and rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning made British sporting history with stunning Olympic victories.

Wiggins won a record seventh medal yesterday when he raced to victory in the men’s time-trial, one more than rowing ace Sir Steve Redgrave. It was his fourth gold, one more than cycling great Sir Chris Hoy.

The 32-year-old, who just days ago cycled into the record books when he became the first British winner of the Tour de France, said: “Just to be mentioned in the same breath as Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy is an absolute honour and to be up there with those guys as a British Olympian, it’s very special.”

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He admitted there was an “almost slight melancholy” to his victory, however. “I realised on the podium that that is it for me. I don’t think anything is going to top that,” he said.

“To win the Tour and then win Olympic gold in London at 32, I’ll look back in 10, 15 years and think that was as good as it got.”

But in a show of spirit, he added: “What’s the point of seven medals if they’re not the right colour? Mainly it’s about the four golds. Now I have to go to Rio and go for five.”

Earlier, Glover and Stanning won Britain’s first gold of the Games, and became the first British women to win the top medal in rowing.

David Cameron praised the Team GB gold medal-winners and said their victories would “put rocket boosters” on the Olympics.

The Prime Minister said: “It is a golden moment for Britain, I think it’s going to give a huge confidence boost to the whole country.

“It’s already a great Olympics, already a great start, but this is really going to put rocket boosters on it for the whole country and I’m very, very excited.”

The head of Team GB, Andy Hunt, also praised the gold 
medallists, saying they have “written their own chapters in the storied history of British Olympic sport”.

He said Glover and Stanning’s landmark victory was “an accomplishment that will stand the test of time” and Wiggins’s record-breaking Olympic success just 10 days after his Tour de France triumph was “nothing short of extraordinary”.

Among the crowds cheering him on were Chloe Cooper and her mother Lucy, who were lucky enough to see both British gold medal-winning performances.

Chloe, 27, from Mile End, east London, said: “I think we could be the only people to have seen both golds.

“The atmosphere here was brilliant. People were shouting and banging on the crash barriers as Wiggins went past. It’s fun and we’ve had a great day.”

Team GB’s success continued last night when Scottish swimmer Michael Jamieson claimed a silver in the men’s 200m breaststroke final. The 23-year-old, from Glasgow, came in second after Hungarian swimmer Daniel Gyurta, who broke the world record. The Scot’s time was the third fastest time in history.

Speaking afterwards, Jamieson said: “What an amazing night.

“The crowd was absolutely unbelievable, I can only thank everyone again for all their support.”

Shona Robison, Scotland’s sports minister, said: “Scotland is proud of Michael Jamieson’s fantastic swim tonight, and Heather Stanning’s golden moment this morning has really set the country alight.”

Earlier, Britain’s men’s eight rowers – including York’s Tom Ransley – and cyclist Chris Froome took home bronze medals. The wins puts Team GB 
11th in the medal table with nine – two golds, three silver and four bronze.