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Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 00:00 GMT
Gold medallists rewarded
Britain's men's eight
Britain's eight won rowing's blue riband event
Britain's heroic Olympians at Sydney 2000 have been rewarded for their historic efforts by official recognition in the New Year's Honours list.

Team GB won 11 gold medals in the Olympics - the best haul since 1920.

Steve Redgrave is knighted for his monumental efforts to rowing while team-mate Matthew Pinsent gets a CBE.

Denise Lewis is awarded an OBE after her gold in heptathlon and Jonathan Edwards gets a CBE after triple jump triumph.

The following gold medal winners all contributed to make the Sydney Olympics an unforgettable experience for all British sports fans.

Efforts by the team's organisers are also recognised with one honour.


Jason Queally MBE

Jason Queally
Queally started the gold rush

The Preston cyclist won Britain's first gold medal in Sydney in the 1km time trial and gets the MBE.

He claimed a new Olympic record when smashing his previous personal best by nearly two seconds.

The 30-year-old, born in Stafforshire, did not take up cycling until his mid-twenties.

HE was keen to make up for lost time at the Olympics and just missed out on a second gold, winning silver in the team sprint.


Richard Faulds MBE

Richard Faulds
Faulds shoots to glory

The 23-year-old produced a stunning display to win gold in the men's double trap shooting.

Faulds, from Longparish in Hampshire, became Britain's first shooting gold medallist since Malcolm Cooper in 1988.

He narrowly held off the challenge of Australia's Russell Mark in a thrilling shoot-out to win.


Steve Redgrave (Knighthood), Matthew Pinsent CBE, James Cracknell MBE, Tim Foster MBE

Redgrave, Pinsent, Foster and Cracknell
Redgrave and co reflect on success

Steve Redgrave's fifth successive Olympic gold naturally hogged the headlines.

But the achievement of the men's coxless fours in winning gold was remarkable in itself.

The quartet suffered an agonising build-up to the Games.

But they prevailed in a nailbiting finish in the final, resisting the valiant efforts of the Italian crew by just 0.38 seconds.

The win was Pinsent's third Olympic gold, while Foster and Cracknell tasted glory for the first time.


Andrew Lindsay, Ben Hunt-Davis, Simon Dennis, Louis Attrill, Luka Grubor, Kieran West, Fred Scarlett, Steve Trapmore and cox Rowley Douglas (All MBEs)

Rowley Douglas: Winning cox
Rowley Douglas: Winning cox

The men's eight ensured that an unforgettable Sydney Olympic Regatta ended with further British glory.

The British crew surged into the lead and held off a strong Australian surge to clinch Britain's second rowing gold.

The victory was Britain's first gold medal in the sport's blue riband event since 1912.

While Redgrave and Co hogged the headlines, for the rowing purists, this was an even sweeter success.


Denise Lewis OBE

Denise Lewis
Lewis full of pride after victory

Britain's new athletics queen was crowned in Stadium Australia, as Midlander Lewis triumphed in the heptathlon.

The bronze medallist at Atlanta, she moved two steps up on the podium this time.

The win included a gutsy display on the second day, when she defied an Achilles injury to hold off the challenge of her rivals.

In doing so Lewis won Britain's first track and field gold since 1992 and earned herself the title of the world's best all-round female athlete.


Jonathan Edwards CBE

Jonathan Edwards
Edwards leaps to gold

One of Britain's most popular athletes, the one achievement that had eluded triple jumper Edwards before Sydney was Olympic gold.

The 34-year-old world record-holder made up for the bitter disappointment of silver in 1996 by claiming the title with a leap of 17.71m.

It was the best in the world in 2000, although victory was tinged with sadness.

Edwards - a family man who puts much store in his religious faith - paid tribute to his mother-in-law, who died during the Games.


Shirley Robertson MBE

Shirley Robertson
Robertson: All smiles after her win

The Scottish sailor claimed Britain's first sailing gold of the Games in a nerve-jangling final race.

Robertson had finished fourth in Atlanta in 1996 and went into the final race of the Europe series four points ahead of her Dutch rival Margriet Matthysse.

All seemed lost as the Dutch sailor took a strong lead.

But a fantastic battling performance enabled Robertson to claw back the deficit and get the top spot on the podium.


Ben Ainslie MBE

Ben Ainslie
Ainslie toughs it out

Charles Benedict Ainslie gained sweet revenge on Robert Scheidt, who pipped him to second in Atlanta.

In Sydney he defeated the Brazilian in an incredible final race in the Laser class, and then had to survive an appeal.

Instead of pushing for the win, Ainslie forced his arch rival to the back of the fleet in an enthralling struggle.

Following a number of hair-raising collisions Scheidt finished low enough to enable the ecstatic sailor from Hampshire to finally claim first place.


Iain Percy MBE

Iain Percy gave Britain a hat-trick of sailing golds by clinching the Finn class in dominant style with one race to spare.

Iain Percy
Percy: Third GB sailing gold

The 24-year-old's nearest rival, Sweden's Frederik Loof, failed to finish in the top five in the penultimate race of the regatta.

Percy only finished 14th, but because of his unassailable lead his Olympic gold medal was guaranteed.


Audley Harrison MBE

Britain's Super-heavyweight won a gruelling encounter with Kazakhstan's Mukhtarkan Dildabekov.

It was Britain's first boxing gold since Chris Finnegan in 1968.

Audley Harrison
Harrison: History-maker in the ring

After ignoring a serious hand injury, Harrison dominated from the opening round and then turned on the style to finish with a 30-16 point decision.

The next move for the charismatic Londoner is still undecided.

But it would appear to include a lucrative future as a host of promoters clamour for his signature as a professional.


Stephanie Cook MBE

Stephanie Cook shows off her medal
A delighted Cook after her efforts on the track

Cook produced a storming run in the final discipline of the modern pentathlon to claim an unforgettable gold medal.

Trailing American leader Emily de Riel, Cook cruised around the 3,000 metre cross-country track to overtake her rivals in a gripping climax.

The Scottish athlete had only been a full-time modern pentathlete since September 1999.

She has decided to retire at the World Championships in the summer, before resuming a career in medicine.


Louise Ramsay MBE

Behind the glamour of all the medal winners there was one person directing the thankless task of organising the whole British operation.

Ramsay, the Director of Games Services, spent months in London and Australian offices surrounded by paperwork.

It ensured that details such as application forms, accreditation passes and accommodation bookings were completed.

Over 300 competitors and almost 200 officials from Britain had to be catered for the 10,568 mile trip to Sydney.

Ramsay's award is a fitting tribute and a reminder that the medals were not just won in the heat of competition.


New Year Honours

Sporting knights

Olympic honours

Football honoured

'Services to sport'

Around the UK
See also:

23 Sep 00 | Rowing and Water Sports
16 Sep 00 | Cycling
24 Sep 00 | Athletics-Field
25 Sep 00 | Athletics-Field
29 Sep 00 | Rowing and Water Sports
30 Sep 00 | Rowing and Water Sports
01 Oct 00 | Boxing
01 Oct 00 | Other Sports
20 Sep 00 | Other Sports
24 Sep 00 | Rowing and Water Sports
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