Olympics medal: Nation delights in first GB gold

David Cameron said Helen Glover and Heather Stanning’s victory was “a great success” for the team, while friends and family expressed their pride.

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has become the most successful British Olympian after winning the time trial.

Meanwhile, eight badminton players have been disqualified, officials say.

Glover and Stanning made history by becoming the first British women to win an Olympic gold medal for rowing.

Speaking during a visit to Northern Ireland, Mr Cameron said it was a “great success for the United Kingdom team”.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said an “historic triumph will be celebrated throughout the country today”.

“It’s an outstanding achievement and I’m sure it will spur on all our athletes in the medal stakes. It’s fantastic – Go Team GB,” he added.

In other developments on Wednesday:

Glover, 26, a former PE teacher from Penzance, Cornwall, had been rowing for only four years before securing gold with Stanning, 27, a Royal Artillery captain, from Lossiemouth, Moray.

They stormed home in front of cheering crowds at Eton Dorney after leading from the front in the women’s pair race.

After crossing the line they hugged each other and saluted the crowd, which included princes William and Harry and the Princess Royal.

Speaking at the finish line, Glover’s mother Rachel said her family was “absolutely delighted”.

Stanning is likely to be deployed to Afghanistan next year. Her commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Craig Palmer, said: “Soldiers from 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery were thrilled to watch the race from their bases in Afghanistan, while their friends and families watched it here in the UK.

“I am sure that they have been inspired by her performance and we look forward to welcoming her back to the regiment later this year.”

‘Depressing and unacceptable’

In the badminton, four pairs of players – two from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia – were disqualified after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) accused them of “not using one’s best efforts to win” during games on Tuesday.

Spectators booed the two matches played at Wembley Arena, while some volunteers were in tears.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Olympics chief Lord Coe said the incident, which saw eight female players apparently attempt to lose, was “depressing”.

“Who wants to sit through something like that?” he said.

“The sadness of it is I was actually at the badminton yesterday and I saw a British competitor narrowly fail to progress but the games were incredibly competitive in front of really large enthusiastic audiences – unacceptable.

“I know the [federation] really well and they will take that really seriously. It is unacceptable.”

South Korea and Indonesia have appealed the decision, the BWF said, with the outcome set to be announced shortly.

The BBC’s Olympics correspondent James Pearce says understands the International Olympic Committee is considering removing the players’ accreditation and expelling them.

London Games’ organiser Locog confirmed it would not refund tickets for the matches.

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