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London 2012: Victoria Pendleton Wins Gold For Team GB In Keirin

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There was triple golden glory for the British team on Friday as Victoria Pendleton became queen of the velodrome, its cyclists smashed a world record and rower Katherine Grainger finally realised her Olympic dream.

Pendleton made up for the bitter disappointment of being relegated from the team sprint and produced a storming finish to take the gold medal in the women's keirin.

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Pendleton celebrates victory in the Keirin in front of the velodrome crowd

And with cycling hero Bradley Wiggins looking on, the men's team pursuit squad added gold with an emphatic performance which shattered the world record leaving rivals Australia trailing in their wake.

Pendleton said: "I can barely believe it. The crowd have been fantastic - they really helped me tonight."

The three golds pushed Team GB to third in the medals table with 21 - eight gold, six silver and seven bronze.

At the same point in the hugely-successful Beijing Games Britain had won just eight medals.

There is the prospect of another gold tonight with Rebecca Adlington bidding to become the first British swimmer to successfully defend an Olympic title in the 800m final.

The atmosphere in the Velodrome was electric as Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke stormed to victory.

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Pendleton cycles around the velodrome with the Union flag

Thomas told the BBC: "The crowd is unbelievable. My ears are ringing. It's too loud."

After three consecutive silver medals Grainger had feared she would always be the bridesmaid at the Games, but she put those days behind her as she stormed to victory with her double sculls partner, Anna Watkins.

Grainger, 36, raised her arms to the heavens as she crossed the line and bowed to a packed stand.

The scene could not have been further removed from the devastating defeat in Beijing four years ago when Grainger missed out on gold.

Then, she was left distraught and contemplating retirement.

But that heartache was forgotten today as she accepted her place at the top of her sport.

She told the BBC that, unlike in Beijing, she would now be crying tears of joy.

"It was worth the wait," she said, adding: "I feel this medal, of all of them, is the people's medal. I feel so many people have been behind me and supported me and wanted this for me as much as I have.

"It's off the back of everyone I've ever worked with, everyone I've ever rowed with, everyone who's helped me, going back to my family who were there from the beginning, to my friends at school, university.

Their win followed more rowing triumph for Team GB which came when George Nash and William Satch took bronze in the men's pair and Alan Campbell took bronze in the men's single sculls.

Another bronze went to veteran British judo heavyweight Karina Bryant, who finally claimed an Olympic medal in a fight against Iryna Kindzerska of Ukraine.

Another gold medal hope, Jessica Ennis, made a sensational start in the heptathlon, setting a new record in the 100m hurdles which propelled her to the top of the leader board.

In the first day of athletics at the Games, only a handful of seats in the 80,000-capacity Olympic stadium were empty as the 26-year-old recorded the fastest time ever for the 100m hurdles, smashing her personal best with an exhilarating run of 12.54 seconds.

A sensational performance in the high jump followed, giving the athlete a 25-point lead after two events.

Ennis admitted she was stunned by the size of the crowd and her achievement in the hurdles.

"Stepping into the stadium before the hurdles, it just blew me away to be honest," she told the BBC.

"The crowd and how they got behind me was amazing. It was a great start to the day.

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