Great Britain could surpass London record medal count at Rio Games

RIO DE JANEIRO -- We've had Super Saturday, Sensational Sunday and now Terrific Tuesday. There really shouldn't be any more alliterative names made up for days of the week when the British team do well here.

The latest development was Team GB going three medals beyond its minimum target of 47 on Tuesday night to make this the nation's best ever away Olympics, and it would be a lot easier to simply celebrate an outstanding Games performance that is still rolling.

Why split it up? Let's just call it all Britain's Brazilian brilliance; that should keep everyone happy.

"We said we believed this to be our most talented Team GB squad and everything we have seen to-date has proven that to be true," said British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney. "With a number of them still to compete we are hopeful of creating yet more history and new heroes and heroines."

A total of 10 more medals were won by Team GB on Tuesday: three golds, two silvers and four bronzes. They were won in sailing, cycling, diving, boxing and gymnastics and came in a hectic four-and-a-half hour spell.

Those who added more medals to the Rio roll of honour were: Giles Scott (sailing gold), Jason Kenny and Laura Trott (both track cycling golds); Becky James (track cycling silver), Jack Laugher, Chris Mears (both diving silvers); Amy Tinkler and Nile Wilson (both gymnastics bronzes), Katy Marchant (track cycling bronze), Josh Buatsi (boxing bronze).

The key question now is: how many more Britain will bring home? The top end of the target range was 79 medals, which looks extremely unlikely, but the London haul of 65 doesn't seem impossible.

It would still be a big leap but track and field will be under pressure to deliver more podium places and sailing, diving, BMX, triathlon, taekwondo and boxing all look well placed to add to the total.

The previous British record for an away Games was Beijing in 2008, when Britain brought back 47 medals, and that was one of the best hauls of any Olympics.

Which all begs the next question: how has Team GB done it? Hard work and excellence are certainly major reasons but significant investment has also played a major part.

UK Sport, which distributes lottery funding, has provided £350 million for Olympic and Paralympic sports for the years 2013-17, and in the previous four years it was £263m.

The approach is business-like, too, with sports which fail to reach the targets set by the authority having funding cut at the end of the cycle.

Swimming had its funding slashed after 2012 but has delivered, while the other leading sports here enjoyed UK Sport investment.

That financial imperative will have pushed each sport's governing body hard to make improvements. It may have had a motivational effect on the overall performance, bringing pressure on support staff, but it would be silly to think it was in the minds of the athletes.

The reasons for success, of course, are open to debate but what is not is the medal tally. On Tuesday night, Britain were still second in the medal table, above China -- which has 51 medals -- because of a greater number of golds and silvers. And that is pretty brilliant.