Vicky Holland crossed the finish line to win Olympic bronze in the triathlon and then apologised to the best friend she had beaten to do so.
Holland and Non Stanford live and train together in Leeds as part of the same group as the Brownlee brothers and had dreamed of both winning medals in Rio. Instead, it came down to a sprint between them, with Holland pulling away to take third place behind unstoppable American Gwen Jorgensen and Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig.
The 30-year-old said: “This was what I came here for, to win a medal for GB, but to have to beat your best friend, your training partner, your housemate, is hard, and I guess after about five kilometres of the run I knew it was going to come down to a battle between us for a medal.”
Stanford lay with head in hands after crossing the finish line before Holland picked her up and they shared an emotional hug.
“It’s very bittersweet,” said Stanford, 27. “I’m absolutely delighted that Team GB have walked away with a medal today and even more so that it was one of my best friends and my housemate. But on the reverse side I was within 20 seconds of getting a medal and maybe tactically I played it a bit wrong.”
A fired-up Mo Farah meanwhile was determined that no one would deny him a fourth Olympic gold medal as he completed the long-distance double at a second straight Games by storming to 5,000 metres glory in Rio a week after picking himself off the track following a trip to claim 10,000m gold, Farah avoided any such drama and burst clear down the home straight to cross the line in 13 minutes 3.30 seconds.
Great Britain won a bronze medal in the women’s 4x400 metres relay, while Bianca Walkden hit back from the disappointment of semi-final defeat to claim a taekwondo bronze for Great Britain at the Olympic Park on Saturday.