Best of the day

The Games of the 30th Olympiad are under way in London and the first day of action has produced some magnificent performances, not least from Britain's own athletes. Check out our choice of the best of day two and share your thoughts on Saturday's highlights...

Last Updated: 29/07/12 11:06am

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Brits smash record, promise more

Rowing gold medal favourites Helen Glover and Heather Stanning set a new Olympic record as they stormed into the final of the women's pairs - and then insisted their best is yet to come.

In perfect conditions, and roared on by a packed crowd at Eton Dorney, the Team GB duo won the opening heat of the London Olympic regatta in a time of six minutes and 57.29 seconds.

The previous Olympic best time, which had stood since Atlanta in 1996, was demolished by more than four seconds as the British crew beat the United States by a length.

"It was definitely a heats race for us," Stanning said. "It was a solid performance. We felt quite controlled in our boat. We have a final to come and that is where we will pull out all the stops."

Brit gymnasts shine

Great Britain's passage to their first Olympic men's gymnastics team final in 88 years was confirmed at the North Greenwich Arena.

Louis Smith, Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham competed in the first subdivision of three, but despite beating reigning Olympic champions China with an impressive team total of 272.420, they had to wait to see if they had made the top eight and qualify for the final.

However, with Japan's three-time world champion Kohei Uchimura and team-mates Kazuhito Tanaka and Koji Yamamuro looking slightly off-form, Britain were placed second behind the United States after session two - enough to secure a passage to the final.

"It was just awesome," Purvis said after qualification. "It all kicked off on rings really. We all hit our dream routines and since then we just kept going.

"I think it was a case of keeping our focus. It's easy to get distracted by the crowd but as soon as we were out there it was like another competition really."

Women safely through

Great Britain's women's football team maintained their 100 per cent record at the 2012 Olympics after a 3-0 win over Cameroon booked their place in the quarter-finals.

First half goals from captain Casey Stoney and Jill Scott put Team GB in control before Stephanie Houghton, who also scored against New Zealand, added a third late in the game in Cardiff.

Next on the schedule for coach Hope Powell's team is a glamour tie against Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday to decide who wins Group E.

Powell said: "I thought that from watching the men against Senegal the other night, they had a tough encounter and you felt the referee was looking to let the game flow and we expected that tonight and the girls did well to try and get back up and get on with it.

"We tried to keep the ball moving to protect the players, some decisions were not in our favour but most of them have come off unscathed, I am sure there are a few knocks and bruises and we will have to get our recovery strategy right ahead of our next game."

Kiwis' world record row

New Zealand's Hamish Bond and Eric Murray set a new men's pairs rowing world record in the Olympic heats, smashing the mark held by Britain's Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.

The multiple world champions timed 6min 8.50sec on the first day of competition, almost six seconds quicker than the 10-year-old record set at the 2002 world championships.

"When we were warming up, we saw there was a nice tailwind and some fast times. Yeah, they were fast conditions but we didn't really have an inclination of how fast we were going," said Bond.

The duo, who are unbeaten since teaming up in 2009, are now safely into the semi-finals of the event held at Eton Dorney to the west of London.

"There's one thing saying you're really well prepared and there's another to go and show you're prepared, but this has given us a real confidence boost," said Murray.

Clijsters has the fever

Kim Clijsters, who once feared she would never feature in an Olympics, admitted she'd caught Games fever after romping to a 6-1 6-4 win over Italy's Roberta Vinci at Wimbledon.

Clijsters was in retirement during the last Olympics in 2008, but the former world number one has now experienced the Games before quitting for the second and last time after next month's US Open.

The Belgian brushed aside world number 27 Vinci in just 61 minutes to secure a clash against Australian fifth seed Sam Stosur or Carla Navarro Suarez of Spain.

"It's like a virus, it spreads," she said. "When you see all the other athletes from your country and the people who follow it, it's hard not to get into it."

"The Olympic sport in general is so unique, and you can hear that when someone like Roger (Federer) talks about it.He has won so many Grand Slams but he wants a gold medal in the singles because he hasn't won that."

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Olympics Today - Sat July 28

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