RIO 2016 has proved a carnival of success for Team GB.

Quite simply, the past fortnight has proved to be this country’s most successful overseas Olympics ever.

More than 50 medals are in the bag already with the power to add to that tally over the last few hours of competition.

We could even finish second in the medals table behind only the United States but ahead of powerhouses such as China.

It puts our previous best effort - Beijing 2008 when 47 medals were claimed - in the shade.

Much was made in the bid for London 2012 of the legacy the games would leave for sport in Britain.

So is the stunning success of our stars in Rio proving an inspiration to a whole new generation of young sportsmen and women in Hampshire?

At Trojans Hockey Club in Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, they have been following every minute of the women’s team’s progress to last night’s final against the Netherlands.

The side - which features former Trojans player Alex Danson - was guaranteed gold or silver going into the match.

Continued from previous page James Sordillo, head coach at Trojans’ academy, said: “The girls look to Alex and the whole GB team as an inspiration.

"The academy team went up to Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre where the Team GB hockey team train full time.

"Our girls played there on the first day the hockey team played in the Olympics.

“The girls were really excited. They had a few training sessions with Lucy Wood. She plays for England and Team GB but wasn’t selected for Rio.

“There is potential for a few to reach Olympic level and some are looking to get into the England teams.”

At The Quays Swimming and Diving Complex in Southampton, they too are proud of their Olympic links.

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Chris Mears, who won gold with Jack Laugher in the synchronised 3m springboard, began swimming at The Quays from the age of nine and trained there under coach Lindsey Fraser.

She said that young swimmers and divers were enthused by the Olympics.

“Most of them are super-excited as Chris only left here in 2014 and a lot have dived with him,” she says. “In 2012 he was a double Olympic finalist.

"This time at Rio he just concentrated on the synchro and won gold. This is the UK’s first ever gold in diving at an Olympic Games.”

Pete Waterfield, who won a silver medal at Athens 2004, was also coached by Lindsey.

"He has been running Olympic masterclass sessions at The Quays on the spring board and high board for adults and families.

From September The Quays is offering Following in Mears’ Footsteps, a beginners class in diving for those inspired by Rio.

Another place not short of Olympic inspiration is Dynamo School of Gymnastics, based at Hamble Community Sports College.

Club gymnast Kelly Simm was on the reserve list for the Olympics – just a step away from joining medallists Max Whitlock, Louis Smith, Nile Wilson and Amy Tinkler in Rio – and had to keep training until August 4 in case of injuries to those selected ahead of her.

Kelly Simm, 21, a 21-year-old student at Southampton Solent University, said: “It was absolutely incredible watching the British team in their finals. Watching Max achieve what he did was so inspiring.

“He is such a hardworking and dedicated gymnast who deserves all of the success he gets.”

Kerri Upton, head of performance at Dynamo, said: “We have a squad of 60 gymnasts and they have been able to watch it on screens in the gym. We’ve had the gymnastics on the TV to inspire them while they practise.

“The sport of gymnastics has gone up and up since 2012 – the amount of participants has upped massively. Rio has inspired them and shown that hard work can make their dreams come true.”

Track and field is the blue riband event of the Olympics, and Southampton has a proud athletics tradition thanks to the likes of Roger Black, Kriss Akabusi and Iwan Thomas.

Southampton Athletics Club head coach Andy Fisher said: “We have had a little bit of an increase in interest but athletics is thriving anyway.

"The academy has 200 children who come along every week.

"The Olympics will enthuse people but club athletics is already thriving in Southampton”.

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Clare Satterly, one of the youth team managers, added: “The Olympics encourages enthusiastic youngsters. The success of Team GB is very inspiring.”

Now the club has its up-and-coming athletes including Oli Bromby, 18, who is a sprinter who was fourth in the World Youth Championships, and Mo Mahammed, 18, an endurance runner who won gold at the European Cross Country Championships last year.

Nick Thompson was flying the flag for Hampshire at the Rio regatta, just missing out on a medal in the Laser dinghy class.

The progress of all the Team GB sailors was followed keenly at Southampton Water Activities Centre.

Commercial manager Jon Kirby said: “After 2012 there was a huge number of inquiries about rowing and sailing. You do get interest spurred on during the Olympics.”

On August 27 the centre is taking part in a national campaign called I Am Team GB, which is a lottery-funded national sports day promoted by Team GB and UK Sport. The centre will be offering taster sessions in sailing and rowing.

Equestrian events have proved a rich source of medals for Team GB in both London and Rio in categories such as dressage and three-day eventing.

Sparsholt College near Winchester has an equine centre which teaches courses in equine management for ages 14-16 and 16 upwards. It also offers riding lessons for much younger children.

Senior technician Emma McDonald said: “We are starting a new performance class from this September which look at both horse and rider for those who wish to train as professional riders.

“The course will look at the health and nutrition and fitness of both the horse and the rider.”

Emma says that three-times dressage gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin exemplifies the modern approach to riding, of the rider as an athlete.

She suggested that if young people were inspired to try riding after seeing the Olympics, they should have a lesson and see how they enjoy it.

Sparsholt student Amy Robbins, 22, from Burley in the New Forest, said: “I watched almost all the equestrian events at Rio 2016. It’s fantastic watching the best in our sport at the Olympics and admiring their talent.”

Fellow student Hannah Cobb, 18, from Fleet, added: “It’s great watching Olympic equestrian events and it definitely inspires me to continue riding. Seeing the best of the best compete is fantastic.”