Joy of six for Sir Chris as Royals cheer him on
The Scot held the Union Flag over his head after riding to victory in the men’s keirin – bringing his tally of golds to six and surpassing Sir Steve Redgrave’s previous record haul of five in the process.
Britain has now won seven of the 10 track cycling events and the noise from the crowd who cheered the latest success seemed likely to raise the roof of the velodrome, dubbed the Pringle due to its unusual shape. In the crowd, Sir Chris’s proud parents held a banner with the words “Chris Hoy, the real McCoy” written across it.
Scotland’s sport minister Shona Robison, who was at the velodrome, said: “It’s absolutely incredible what he has done here tonight and throughout his career, and everyone back in Scotland is extremely proud of him.
“Scottish athletes have now won seven golds at these Olympics and Sir Chris Hoy’s triumph crowns an extremely long list of titles and world records.
“The noise in the velodrome was just unbelievable. No-one representing Team GB has ever won six golds before, and we have never had a sportsman like him – what a hero and an inspiration.”
Hoy’s gold was his second of the Games and followed another double triumph for British cyclist Laura Trott who claimed her second gold medal by winning the women’s omnium just an hour earlier.
An ecstatic Trott said: “I can’t believe this is happening to me, I really can’t. I am so happy.”
But the outgoing face of British cycling Victoria Pendleton, 31, could only manage a silver in her sprint showdown with Australian arch-rival Anna Meares.
Yesterday’s gold rush also included a historic victory over Germany by Team GB’s dressage team.
Team dressage has been dominated by Germany in every Games since 1984 – but the magic of London 2012 meant this was yet another bastion to fall to an apparently unstoppable host country.
The team of Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin put in an exquisite performance in this most rarefied of equine sports.
The trio’s unprecedented achievement came just 24 hours after their showjumping counterparts topped the podium following another nail-biting contest.
Dujardin, 27, who made her Olympic debut at London 2012, was the final British rider to compete on 10-year-old Valegro – bringing the British team its title.
The rider, who started tackling Olympic-level tests less than two years ago, said: “It’s surreal because obviously I only started January last year and I got a gold medal at the Europeans and it was the ultimate dream to get here and ride here.”
Speaking of her pride in her mount, she added: “He is a once in a lifetime horse, he is unbelievable, just very special.”
Earlier, the stadium erupted in applause as she left the arena following her ride.
There was also a silver medal for British windsurfer Nick Dempsey and a bronze for Robbie Grabarz in the men’s high jump.
As Britain’s medal tally rose further, Australia’s sports minister Kate Lundy admitted she has lost a bet with Britain’s sports minister Hugh Robertson over who would do better at London 2012.
Ms Lundy had bet Mr Robertson that if Australia did not beat Britain in medals, she would row down the Olympic course on Eton Dorney wearing a Team GB shirt, while his forfeit if Britain lost out was to play hockey in a Kookaburras’ shirt.
Australia is 13th in the medals table, compared with Britain now in third.
Ms Lundy said: “I think we’re all celebrating a bag full of silver, and Australians would love to see more gold but it’s not taking away for one second the efforts of our athletes and so many of our golds we’ve conceded to British athletes, just that last millimetre or last millisecond.
“Silver is the new gold. We’ve got to hand it to you, you’re having a great Games.”
But she said she did not regret the bet, adding: “It’s a traditional wager that we have with the UK sports minister so I don’t regret it, it was always going to be on, and I’ve already conceded I know I’m going to be rowing out of Eton.”