The summer of British Success

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The first British men’s singles Wimbledon champion for 77 years. England holds the Ashes for the third series running. The Tour de France is won by a British cyclist for the second time in two years.

After the overwhelming sporting success that Britain displayed last summer in the Olympics, who’d have thought that our tiny nation could recover and pull another pile of achievements out of the bag just a year later? After London 2012, it seemed that nothing would ever again make Britain feel so united and proud, but it has to be said that this summer comes pretty close.

The summer of sport began on the green grass of Wimbledon and a man from the small town of Dunblane in Scotland had rather large expectations upon his shoulders. After reaching the final, gaining two Olympic medals and snatching his first grand slam title all in 2012, the pessimism that had long surrounded Andy Murray had rapidly disappeared. With the British number one in the form of his life and the early exits of Federer, Nadal and Tsonga causing a surprise, there seemed to be a sign that this was his time. After defeating tough opponents such as Verdasco and Youznhy, Murray arrived in the final to face the super-human Serbian Novak Djokovic. After displaying incredible determination in three frustrating championship points and a three set win; he fully deserved to become a champion. Along with the Scotsman taking the trophy, Britain also enjoyed watching a courageous effort from 19 year old Laura Robson who reached the fourth round and should be a promising contender in years to come.

Not long after Murray’s victory, our focus turned to one of the most historic rivalries in sport. The Ashes brought England continual pain for a good decade or so, but since the unforgettable victory in 2005, there has been much more faith in English cricket. The men’s series this year ended with England winning three tests and drawing two meaning the urn stayed put on English soil. Our women cricketers also triumphed winning their Ashes with a 12-4 points victory proving that English cricket is still a force to be reckoned with.

In cycling and athletics, there were many more outstanding displays of sporting strength. Chris Froome secured another British win in the Tour de France continuing the success of Wiggins last year. With the pressure high in the 100th year of the competition, Froome did phenomenally well to win by more than four minutes to claim the yellow jersey.

From Paris over to Moscow, the World Athletics Championship  delivered a thrilling week of track and field action. Team GB came home with three gold medals won by Christine Ohuruogu in perhaps the tightest 400m finish ever and the seemingly unbeatable Mo Farah. The competition starred many hopes for the Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016, so we can be quite sure that Team GB will have plenty more moments in glorious spotlight.

All of this and a bunch of other British victories, including the British and Irish Lions winning their tour of Australia and a win for the women golfers in the Solheim Cup, goes to show how much talent we truly have on these shores. Fingers crossed that on top of London 2012 the summer of success this year will bring more sporting optimism to our nation and the belief that Britain can consistently produce champions in an array of different sports.

 

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