Katherine Grainger made history by adding a silver to her glittering Olympic medal collection to become the most decorated British female Olympian of all time.
Grainger was rowing alongside Vicky Thornley in the women’s double sculls, and the pair took the race to Poland’s Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska and Natalia Madaj from the off and traded the lead a number of times. With the Brits holding a narrow advantage heading into the last 50m, the Polish pair edged ahead to take gold in a nail-biting encounter.
Finishing as such close contender for the Olympic title is an astonishing achievement for the duo, whose place on the plane to Rio was only booked six weeks before the Games. The 40-year-old Grainger had re-joined the rowing programme two years ago after taking a break following her London 2012 gold medal achievement. She captured silvers in Sydney, Athens and Beijing and has been on the UK Sport programme for over 18 years.
In the other half of the boat, Thornley had only been rowing since 2007, having been discovered on the Sporting Giants talent ID programme, ran by UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport.
Day six saw Great Britain gather one gold and three silvers, taking the team's overall Rio 2016 medal total to 16. Other highlights included:
Cycling - Track
Great Britain clinched the first Rio 2016 track cycling gold with a blistering display of speed on opening night in the Rio Olympic velodrome.
In the team sprint, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes retained their crown from London 2012, with Callum Skinner, who replaced the retired Sir Chris Hoy, sealing the glory with a decisive final leg.
After setting the fastest time in qualifying of 42.562, GB defeated Venezuela, posting a time of 42.640, to advance to the gold medal race. The trio then clocked an Olympic record of 42.440 to upset the odds and defeat a well-favoured New Zealand unit.
The women’s team pursuit, of Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand and Elinor Barker, set a new world record of 4:13.3 in qualifying for Saturday’s final, while the men’s team pursuit of Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Steve Burke and Owain Doull posted an electric run to top qualification in 3:51.9.
Canoe – Slalom
David Florence and Richard Hounslow glided over the waves of the Whitewater Stadium to record a terrific run and clinch a silver medal in the C2 event.
The British pair repeated their achievement from the London 2012 Games with a score of 102.01, 0.43 off the pace of Slovakian cousins and gold medallists Peter and Ladislav Škantár. A couple of early penalties cost Fiona Pennie in the women’s K1 event as she laid down a gutsy run to finish sixth in her final.
Great Britain were forced to settle for taking pride, and a silver medal, from the first ever Olympic Rugby Sevens men’s final following a devastating gold-medal winning performance by Fiji.
A brutal performance from the world number one ranked Fijians confirmed the emphatic 43-7 defeat, with Britain showing grit and determination to fight until the final whistle. Earlier in the day, GB beat world number two ranked South Africa in a tense 7-5 semi-final victory to guarantee a medal. Dan Norton scored the try, with Tom Mitchell’s conversion proving decisive.
Double Olympic champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro stole the show in the second day of the Dressage Grand Prix, topping the standings and pushing Great Britain to fourth overall in the team event.
Dujardin’s majestic showing on Valegro earned her 85.071%, 2.5 points clear of second place. Fiona Bigwood, on Atterupgaards Orthilia, placed eighth after her performance yesterday, with Carl Hester on Nip Tuck, pushed down to 15th. Medals are at stake in the Grand Prix special on day seven.
Giles Scott opened up his lead at the top of the finn class as he searches for a maiden Olympic medal. He could only post an 11th place finish in race five but returned to his best to take victory in race six. Scott tops the standings over Vasilij Žbogar by four points after six races.
In a triple header of RS:X races, Nick Dempsey posted a second, fifth and eighth to end the day second overall, six points behind the Netherlands Dorian van Rijsselberghe. A third, fifth and second improves Bryony Shaw’s overall position to 10th but she remains off the medal pace.
A first and sixth puts Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills third overall in the women’s 470, while Luke Patience and Chris Grube finished fifth and sixth to hold sixth position overall in the men’s 470. In the Nacra 17, Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves raced four times – finishing second, seventh, fifth and third – to remain second overall through six races.
In the pool there was another agonisingly close fourth place, this time for Chloe Tutton in the 200m breaststroke. Tutton finished in 2:22.34, just 0.06 seconds behind China's Shi Jinglin in third with Rie Kaneto of Japan taking the gold. Close behind was Molly Renshaw, who had qualified third fastest for the final but had to settle for sixth in the final, coming home in 2:22.72.
Dan Wallace was Britain's other finallist of the night, going in the highly anticipated 200m individual medley final. With Michael Phelps looking to hold off USA team mate Ryan Lochte to make it four consectutive Olympic titles in the event, and Brazil's Thiago Pereira looking to cause an upset in front of a home crowd, the race was taken out fast and Wallace couldn't keep with the pace of the field. A courageous performance from the Brit, but he finished 8th in 1:58.54
Ben Proud finished third in his 50m freestyle semi-final in an impressive British record of 21.54 to qualify for tomorrow night's final, while James Guy produced a promising performance in his 100m butterfly semi-final, boding well for the upcoming medley relay, however failed to qualify for the final.
Stewart Innes and Alan Sinclair put in a colossal effort in the men’s pair final but were shaded into fourth by Italy's Giovanni Abagnale and Marco Di Costanzo. The men’s quad, of Peter Lambert, Sam Townsend, Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont, pushed hard and finish fifth in a competitive final.
In semi-final action, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning took control of their women’s pairs race cruised to a comfortable win. The men’s four of Alex Gregory, Moe Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis powered to victory in their semi-final, both go in finals on day seven.
Joshua Buatsi sprung a stunning upset to advance to the last eight of the light heavyweight division with a stoppage against Uzbekistan's third seed Elshod Rasulov. The victory leaves the 23-year-old one win away from a medal. On his Olympic debut, Pat McCormack beat Kazakhstan's Ablaikhan Zhussupov by split decision to progress to the light welterweight last 16. In the welterweight division, Josh Kelly was beaten by unanimous decision in the last 16 by Daniyar Yeleussinov.
Great Britain's women continued their fine run of form with a 2-0 victory over Japan with goals from Lily Owsley and Nicola White making it four wins from four. GB lie second in the standings, behind the also-perfect USA on points difference and they go head-to-head on Sunday to decide the Pool B winner.
Naomi Folkard’s admirable run came to a halt at the quarter finals of the individual event in a 6-1 defeat against Korea Republic’s Chang Hye-Jin. Folkard had eliminated Brazil’s Ane Marcelle Dos Santos earlier in the day in the last 16 to record a personal best performance at her fourth Olympic Games.
Click here to read our Look Ahead to Day 7.