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Last Updated: Monday, 30 August, 2004, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
GB Olympic team back home
Kelly Holmes
Double gold winner Holmes is to be honoured with a hometown parade
Great Britain's athletes landed back in London on Monday following their success at the Athens Olympics.

Team GB won 30 medals, the best tally since Los Angeles in 1984, which was hit by an Eastern Bloc boycott.

Among the haul were nine golds, two of which were provided by Kelly Holmes, Olympic champion over 800m and 1500m.

Holmes was among the medallists who landed at Gatwick on Monday afternoon, along with rowing hero Matthew Pinsent and boxing sensation Amir Khan.

Khan, 17, won a silver medal in the lightweight division on Sunday after emerging as one of the stars of the Games.

Holmes, already a favourite to become the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, is to be given a open-top bus parade through her hometown, Tonbridge in Kent, on 1 September.

We have exceeded our objectives
British Olympic Association

Holmes' double gold - hailed as one of the finest achievements in British track and field history - boosted the British athletics squad, with Kelly Sotherton's bronze in the heptathlon and gold for the men's 4x100m squad the only other successes.

But Britain were the most successful nation in sailing where they won two golds, a silver and two bronze medals.

Shirley Robertson, who skipped the victorious Yngling crew in Athens, will return home with her second gold medal after also triumphing in Sydney.

And Pinsent provided one of the most memorable moments of the Games when he broke down in tears on the podium as he collected his fourth consecutive gold.

Leaving aside the boycotted 1984 Games, it was the best British medal tally since Paris in 1924.

British fans at the Olympics in Athens
The enthusiasm of GB fans could help London's 2012 bid
A spokesman for the British Olympic Association said the team had exceeded expectations.

"More than three months ago we set out our objectives," he said.

"Set in the context of the emergence of China as a sporting superpower and the former Soviet states, we said an excellent result for the country, for British sport and for our Olympic bid, would be between six and nine gold medals and 25 medals in total.

"We have exceeded our objectives."

He said the success, as well as the enthusiasm of British fans in Athens, would improve London's chances of winning its bid to hold the 2012 Games.

"The International Olympic Committee likes to give the games to countries who are enthused by the Olympics," the BOA spokesman said.

"And in every stadium I have been in Brits clearly outnumbered every other country - they have travelled and that must bode well for the bid. It sends a message to the committee."

Links to more Olympics 2004 stories


Interview: Kelly Holmes

Interview: Darren Campbell

Interview: Britain's coxless four


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