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  1. ITV Report

Downing Street opens door for wide Team GB Olympic honours

Multiple medal winners Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and Mo Farah and rowing duo Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are likely to receive top honours. Credit: PA

The Team GB athletes who helped deliver stunning medal success at Rio 2016 look set to be honoured as Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to their success.

There has been a popular clamour for the likes of Mo Farah, Jason Kenny and Laura Trott to receive top honours after starring roles in the Brazil goldrush.

Farah said he would be thrilled to receive a knighthood after his "double double" success at the Rio Olympics.

Theresa May had an active holiday in the Swiss Alps amid Team GB's stunning success in Rio. Credit: PA

Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May is "extremely proud" of the team's medal haul following the "amazing" games and wants to see the success recognised.

A spokesperson confirmed there would be no formal cap on the number of athletes and coaches who can be honoured.

In terms of honours, there is an independent process. There is no formal cap on the number of honours that can be awarded.

There is guidance given by the Cabinet Office year to year on ballpark figures that different sectors could expect, but where there are special circumstances and a particularly high number of deserving people then the committees and Government would look at that.

They should be about recognising and rewarding great achievement and, by goodness, we have had that over the last two weeks.

– Prime Minister's official spokesperson

Medal-winning British athletes were treated to a flurry of honours after London 2012, along with significant support staff.

It could mean an even bigger display of honours as the British establishment rewards all, some or many of the winners of 27 golds, 23 silvers and 17 bronzes that propelled Team GB to second place in the Rio 2016 medal table.

Who are the leading candidates for top honours?

  • Mo Farah
Mo Farah did the 'double double' as he defended his 5,000m and 10,000m titles. Credit: PA

Distance runner Farah was given a CBE after his success at London 2012, but said it would be "amazing" to become Sir Mo after his triumph on the track this year.

I didn't even dream of becoming Olympic champion, let alone four times. Anything is possible, but for me it is up to the public and the people. I just have to enjoy what I do and keep winning medals for my country because I just love winning.

But being Sir Mo would be amazing. I remember Sir Alex Ferguson got it because he was at Manchester United, and Sir Steve Redgrave for what he did, and to be able to be in the same category as them would be pretty amazing.

– Mo Farah
  • Nicola Adams
Nicola Adams secured gold in the women's flyweight final. Credit: PA

Boxer Adams, who already has an MBE, could be due for another honour after she defended her Olympic title, cementing her status as Britain's most accomplished amateur fighter.

  • Jason Kenny and Laura Trott
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny starred in the velodrome. Credit: PA

Cycling golden couple Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, who gained more medals than most of the countries competing at the Games, are also tipped for gongs after taking their collective gold tally to 10.

Six-time gold medallist Kenny received an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours following the London Games.

  • Andy Murray
Andy Murray became the first men's tennis player to win a second Olympic title. Credit: PA

Tennis star Murray was awarded an OBE following his success at the US Open and Olympic Games in 2012.

The Dunblane hero was already touted as potentially the "most popular Scottish knight since Sir William Wallace" by the SNP's Alex Salmond before he secured his second Olympic gold with victory over Juan Martin Del Porto of Argentina.

Who else could be in line for leading honours?

Here are a selection of candidates who could earn special honours amid Team GB's widespread standout performances.

  • Max Whitlock, who claimed two gymnastics golds and a bronze to take his Olympic medal tally to five.
  • Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the Yorkshire brothers who finished as top two in the men's triathlon.
  • Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who defended their Olympic title in the women's coxless pair.
  • Justin Rose, who became golf's first Olympic champion for more than a century.
  • Liam Heath, who struck gold to become Britain's most successful canoeist.
  • Maddie Hinch, who gave a star turn in goal to help earn gold for the women's hockey team.
  • Charlotte Dujardin, who claimed individual dressage gold and a team silver to build on golden displays at London 2012.

Nominations can be made by anyone but names are reviewed by the relevant honours committee and checked by various government departments before they are given the seal of approval by the Queen.