Super Saturday Nets Team GB 6 Gold
How good was that today (er, well yesterday now, Saturday!)?!
6 gold medals in one day, including an unprecedented 3 gold medals on the track and we're number 3 in the medal table as well... doesn't get much better than that... best (full!) day of sport I can remember in a long time with the day just going from good to better, congrats to Ennis, Farah and all of the others that medalled. Best single Olympic day since 1908 apparently.
Early on in the day we took two gold medals in the rowing - which marked the end of the Olympic rowing events and saw the GB rowing team come away with the biggest haul of medals in the 'modern' era with a total of 9 medals (4 gold).
On to the velodrome, where team GB pulled off yet another world record beating gold medal in the women's team pursuit. The gold medal performance by Rowsell, King and Trott was an incredible sixth consecutive/back to back world record beating performance by this same team lineup, and means a total seven world records have now been set so far in the track cycling by team GB since the start of London 2012.
And all of this on the back of an amazing gold medal performance by Victoria Pendleton in the Keiran, smashing her closest rival - Aussie Anna Meares - in what was supposed to be Pendleton's weaker event. In the end Meares faded very early in the final lap after kicking too early, with Pendleton taking gold in a final lap where she dominated the field from the bell to the line. (Ok this wasn't strictly 'today', but any sporting event in which the Poms smash the Aussies has to be at least reported. )
So far team GB have taken 4 of the 5 possible track cycling gold medals, with a further 5 events still yet to be decided (realistically we have a chance of maybe(?) a further 3 golds out of those 5 events). The track cycling continues daily until it's conclusion on Tuesday.
To be honest I would have been MORE than happy if the day just ended there... but, as much as I prefer cycling to athletics and as much as we are currently completely dominant in the cycling, I have to admit I thought the day's athletics was way up there as one of the 'great' days that you remember throughout your life. I suppose time will tell and maybe I'm just buying into the media hype, but I honestly think it could well be up there with memories of Daley Thompson winning the decathlon way back in the day... it was just ... that .... good.
Over in the Olympic stadium for the track and field events and London 2012 poster girl Jess Ennis was already on a flyer from day one of the two day heptathlon event. 4 events out of 7 down and she had a comfortable lead going into the second day, although at least two of the three final day events were arguably her weakest events (long jump and javelin). None of that seemed to matter though as she put in a personal best in the javelin (47.49m) and jumped very close to her PB (6.51m) in the long jump (6.48m).
All of which left her in an insurmountable lead going into the final event - the 800m.
Although she had an effective 13 second 'lead' over her nearest rival going into the 800m and really only needed to coast round slowly to take the gold, Ennis still went all out to make sure she finished the 800m smack bang in first place. With an impressive kick from the final bend, Ennis accelerated past the rest of the field, finishing the championships just shy of 7000 points at 6955 with an 800m time of around 2:07 minutes - again very close to her personal best of 2:07, going way beyond what was required in a show of class.
As if that wasn't enough, on the field we had a nice 'cherry' to top the cake in long jumper Greg Rutherford. Must admit I don't know a lot about the long jump, but I remember watching as he put in a second jump of 8.21m AFTER having been almost 2 metres short of that in the first jump... catapulting him into gold medal position, albeit with almost everyone left to jump even on just that second jump (with 4 further jumps left for everyone anyway)... but somehow he managed to go even further later on and post a distance of 8.31m, confirming his gold medal position. And all of this just minutes after the crowd were being totally bamboozled over whether they should sit down after cheering Ennis for the last 10 minutes or whether they should be standing up to cheer the entrace of Mo Farah onto the track!
But yes, around that time Mo Farah had stepped onto the track and just started the 10km. In what was a very nervous and jostling race, Farah kept his calm as the Ethiopians took to the head of the race midway through. Slowly but surely Farah bridged the gap as the race went into the last 5 of the 25 laps.
Farah kicked at the sound of the bell on the final lap, and for all the world it looked as though he'd gone way too early as again the Ethiopians began to catch him on the final bend - making it look woefully like he might go into reverse on the home straight. However, spurred on by the eardrum busting crowd, he kicked yet again as he came into the home straight and managed to put a good full 5-10m between his key rivals, easily taking Gold on the line with his training partner and race ally - Galen Rupp - coming in second for Silver.
And... ALL of this in the athletics stadium in the space of a half hour or so?!! Incredible.
What was your favourite bit?
I think for me it was probably seeing Ennis kick for home on the last stretch of the 800m, despite having more than easily won it anyway, just a touch of pure class I thought especially on top of the numerous PBs she'd put in over the last couple of days. That and seeing her celebrate her success in the middle of all the other heptathletes rather than running off on her own to do a solo lap of honour... guess it's because they're all mates but that just stood out for me as what the Olympics should be about rather than all the corporate BS that it's come to be about.
PS here's some pretty medal pictures:
PPS - this is quite interesting as well:
BBC Sport - London 2012 Olympics - Timeline Olympic Powers
The only time we were ever top of the medal table was in 1908 when it was hosted in London for the first time in the modern era. Curiously when we hosted it next in 1948 we didn't even make the top 5 in the medal table. In fact we didn't make the top 5 in the medal table at any time between 1924 and 2008.
Last edited by munk; 04/08/2012 at 23:51.
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