Golden girls rio delight

Hannah Macleod and Crista Cullen join their team to celebrate. Photographer
Hannah Macleod and Crista Cullen join their team to celebrate. Photographer

Crista Cullen and Hannah Macleod have struck gold - after helping Team GB to glory at Rio 2016.

The Boston-born duo both aided the women’s hockey team as they defeated the Netherlands in a tense and gripping shoot-out on Friday night.

Cullen, along with Lily Owsley and Nicola White, were on target as Great Britain came from 3-2 down to draw 3-3 with their highly-rated opponents, who have won gold at the past two games.

In the shoot-out Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb converted as goalkeeper Maddie Hinch added to the heroics, shutting out the Netherlands to secure a 2-0 victory.

Both Macleod and Cullen, who celebrated her 31st birthday the day after taking top spot on the podium, helped Team GB to a historic victory, featuring in all eight contests.

The previous best two finishes for the team were both bronze-medal positions in 1992 and 2012.

Former Oakham School student Cullen, Macleod and Lincoln’s Georgie Twigg were part of the squad which finished third in London four years ago.

But now the trio, along with Dry Doddington’s Shona McCallin, can all claim to be Olympic champions, the first Lincolnshire gold medallists since Stamford’s Lord Burghley won the 400m hurdles at Amsterdam in 1928.

GB booked their place in the final having won all seven of their previous Rio 2016 matches, topping Group B by beating Australia (2-1), India (3-0), Argentina (3-2), Japan (2-0) and the USA (2-1).

They then beat Spain in quarters last Monday (3-1) and New Zealand in semis on Wednesday (3-0).