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Sunday, 14 August 2016
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Justin Rose achieved one of his greatest ambitions as he stood on the top step of the Olympic podium after a week that left him feeling "inspired" in Rio de Janeiro.

The Briton went toe-to-toe with Henrik Stenson on the final day of the Olympic Men's Golf Competition in Rio de Janeiro to beat the Swede by two shots and win the gold medal.

All the players in Brazil have spoken of the unique atmosphere of the Olympic Games, with athletes competing for medals, pride and their country rather than prize money in the biggest sporting festival in the world.

There was concern in some quarters that the Competition could be diluted by the withdrawals of some players but those fears were emphatically cast aside as two Major champions created a final day spectacle reminiscent of Stenson's stunning victory over Phil Mickelson at The Open Championship last month.

Rose had long insisted the Games were a high priority for him this season and, after being presented with his medal and singing the national anthem of Great Britain, the 2013 US Open winner was left to reflect on becoming golf's first Olympic champion for 112 years.

"I made it a big deal in my schedule and made it a big deal all year," he said. "I made it a highlight.

"I got down here Friday before the tournament. That's typically how I try to prepare for Major Championships.

This is a dream come true. I've been thinking about Rio for a long, long time - Justin Rose

"I made it a big deal in my year and I had the benefit of walking in the opening ceremony and watching other sports, which was all part of the plan.

"Once I got here and experienced the whole vibe I've just been really excited and to come out with a medal is great. To come out with a gold is unbelievable. It sits alongside the US Open trophy for me.

"I felt very inspired this week. Felt very focused. It's definitely been something I've been looking forward to for a long, long time, and I guess I felt very motivated this week all week.

"I said earlier this year that if my resumé one day read "multiple Major Champion and Olympic gold medallist", I would be a very, very happy man. Just going to tag on another Major now.

"I noticed so many positive comments from guys who weren't in contention for medals.

"This is where all the players wanted to be because there's no money, there's not much else to play for, really, other than right up here. And yet somehow the guys really enjoyed the whole Olympic experience, and I think that says it all."

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