Tina Cook hailed the bravery of her brilliant triple Olympic medallist Miners Frolic, after Great Britain’s eventers won silver at Greenwich Park.
The horse almost died from illness a year ago, but Cook rode magnificently on sport’s biggest stage to help give British eventing an 18th Olympic post-war podium finish.
There was individual disappointment for Mary King and Cook, though, who both had eight faults and slipped out of medal contention in that phase of the competition.
For Cook, it was an immense display of ability and courage four years after she won double Olympic bronze.
Miners Frolic was so ill with colitis at one stage that his owner Sarah Pelham drove to Arundel Equine Hospital in Sussex to say an emotional goodbye.
“He has been fantastic, absolutely brilliant,” Cook said. “He performed superbly in torrential rain in the dressage, and was then amazing in the cross-country.
“While I was frustrated to get a time fault in the team showjumping, you can’t blame the horse for that.”
Murray eases through
Andy Murray breezed into the third round of men’s singles at the Olympic tennis at Wimbledon, and the world number four will also go for gold in the mixed doubles alongside Laura Robson.
Murray had no trouble at all brushing aside Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-2 6-4 under the roof on Centre Court, but Robson and Heather Watson both lost in the second round of the women’s singles.
Robson’s brave fight against Maria Sharapova ended in a 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 loss, while Watson went down 6-3 6-2 to 14th seed Maria Kirilenko.
Nieminen had been the man Murray scraped past when his back troubles were at their worst at the French Open but there were no such dramas today and he will play Marcos Baghdatis in the last 16 in a rematch of their late-night Wimbledon epic.
Murray said: “I played well. He didn’t start the match that well. Then he definitely played better in the second set. I had the momentum for most of the match. I served well, I didn’t give him many opportunities.”
Great Britain had kept their mixed doubles nominations a secret, but it was Murray and Robson who received a wild card and they were due to face Czech pair Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka in the first round today.
Murray insisted he always planned to enter the mixed, despite the added workload – he could play eight matches in five days if he gets to the medal matches in both events.
Hockey girls win
Great Britain coach Danny Kerry was impressed with the character his side showed as they recovered from twice being pegged back – losing a two-goal lead at one stage – by Korea to win 5-3.
Nic White’s early opener was cancelled out by Kim Darae before goals from Crista Cullen and then Georgie Twigg and Alex Danson put the hosts in a commanding position.
However, goals from Han Hye Lyoung and Park Mi Hyun levelled things, only for Twigg and Chloe Rogers to score.
“Everyone knows Korea are serious semi-final candidates, and they are one of the teams coaches talk about as they have a lot of threats,” said Kerry. “I was delighted with the way we tried to deal with some of those threats.”