Varnish and Pendleton demoted from final
Great Britain's Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton missed out on a ride-off for Olympic gold after being relegated by officials for a takeover infringement on an eventful opening evening of track action at the London 2012 velodrome.
Varnish and Pendleton had set a world record in the two-woman, two-lap event in qualifying, seeing the mark broken moments later by China. The Britons set the second fastest time in the first round and were due to advance to the final against China, who set another world record, but officials ruled against them.
The Chinese duo were guilty of a similar offence in the final, meaning Germany took gold. Pendleton was set to resume competition in the keirin on Friday, but for Varnish, who has focused on the starting lap in the event, the Games are over.
Carl Hester gave Great Britain a strong start in their quest for a first Olympic dressage medal. The 45-year-old, who is riding in his fourth Olympics, scored 77.72% on Uthopia, comfortably the highest score of the opening seven-rider session at Greenwich Park.
Hester said: "I know it's not the highest mark I've had, but I have to take into account it is the Olympics, it is the toughest judges, it is the toughest standard and I am in the first group of competitors. I had one obvious mistake, which took me down to under 78%, which would have been my ideal score, but 77% is still great. The horse felt good."
Great Britain's women's hockey team moved to within a point of qualifying for the semi-finals with a hard-working victory over Belgium. Goals from Ashleigh Ball, Laura Bartlett and Crista Cullen were enough to secure a win despite a late rally by their opponents. They require only a point against China to be sure of a place in the last four.
Gymnast Rebecca Tunney might not have won an Olympic medal but the teenager from Ashton-under-Lyne certainly made a big impression in her first year of senior competition. The 15-year-old finished 13th in the individual all-around event, behind American Gabrielle Douglas, who won gold ahead of Russians Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina.
Great Britain duo Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney are out of the women's volleyball competition after they fell to a straight sets defeat in their lucky loser play-off against Austria at Horse Guards Parade.
In the women's fencing competition, Team GB were beaten 42-14 by Italy, the eventual winners, in the quarter-finals of the team foil at the ExCeL. Natalia Sheppard, Sophie Troiano and Anna Bentley had beaten Egypt 45-34 to set up the clash with the three medallists in the individual competition.
In the basketball, Great Britain suffered yet another hard-luck loss against world number two Spain but came close than ever before at the London Olympics, going down 79-78. In the men's volleyball, Italy all but rubber-stamped Great Britain's exit from the tournament with a three-set victory.
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