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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2004, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Britain's golden day
British fans applaud victory by the men's coxless four

Great Britain enjoyed one of its best ever days at the Olympics on Saturday, claiming five gold medals.

Rower Matthew Pinsent led the way, winning his fourth Games title in the coxless four ahead of Canada.

And then Britain's sailors weighed in with victory for Ben Ainslie in the Finn class and confirmation of Shirley Robertson's Yngling success.

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins won the men's 4km pursuit before three-day eventing's Leslie Law grabbed gold after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"As far as I am concerned this could be the greatest ever day for Britain at an Olympics," said British Olympic Association chief Simon Clegg, after the team also secured two silvers and three bronzes.

"The successes we have had so far have been outstanding."

Sports minister Richard Caborn added: "It really has been a super Saturday for Team GB and the nation can be proud.


"I would like to congratulate all our athletes for their tremendous achievement from the rowing this morning to what we have seen on the cycling track this afternoon."

Britain's golden day began with the narrowest of wins for Pinsent with James Cracknell, Ed Coode and Steve Williams.

The coxless four looked beaten 10 strokes from the line, but battled back to beat the Canadians by 0.08 seconds in a time of six minutes 6.98 secs.

Sir Stephen Redgrave, who famously won his fifth gold medal in five Olympics in 2000, then backed his Sydney partner Pinsent to eclipse his medal tally.

There was more rowing success when Cath Bishop and Katherine Grainger took silver in the coxless pairs, while Sarah Winckless and Elise Laverick got bronze in the double sculls.

Ainslie, meanwhile, joined Rodney Pattison as Britain's most successful Olympic sailor by taking gold in the Finn class.

Bradley Wiggins tastes gold

He added gold to the silver and gold medals he won 1996 and 2000, while Robertson won gold at her second-straight Olympics with Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton.

Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield sealed second in the 470s, narrowly failing to overhaul their American rivals Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham.

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins saw off Australian Tour de France rider Brad McGee to win the 4,000m individual pursuit, adding to team-mate Chris Hoy's Friday victory in the velodrome.

And, to cap a fantastic day for Team GB, Leslie Law was awarded individual gold in the three-day eventing after Germany were stripped of their gold medal following an appeal.

The decision also meant Britain's team bronze was upgraded to silver, while Pippa Funnell took individual bronze.

David Davies took bronze in swimming's 1500m freestyle, smashing the European record in 14 minutes 45.95 seconds.

Heptathlete Kelly Sotherton shrugged off the disappointment of seeing team-mate and defending champion Denise Lewis pull out to win another bronze.

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