Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Top 5 Moments From London 2012

So, the games of the thirtieth Olympiad are over, with the Paralympics still to come.  In more than one sense, all roads lead to Rio de Janeiro over the next four years as first the next Football World Cup concludes in that city on July 13th 2014, followed by the next Olympics on 5th August 2016. 

Everyone will have their moments of the games, and this blog is no exception.  In a couple of day’s I will be posting my performances of the games, but first (in no particular order) here are my five moments of the games…

1) Glover & Stanning win Britain’s first Gold in the Woman’s Pair.

By the fourth day of the games we were all beginning to get a bit itchy as Britain had not bagged a Gold Medal.  Mark Cavendish had finished down the field in the Men’s Cycling road race, while Rebecca Adlington took bronze in her 400 metre’s Freestyle race.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning were unbeaten in the Women’s Pair since being pipped to gold in last years World Cup by New Zealand.  They carried that form through the heats for this event, and controlled the final to take Britain’s first gold of these games – becoming the first British women to win gold at the Olympic regatta.  Glover and Stanning also set the template for these games as much of Britain’s top performers were women – not just Jessica Ennis but Grainger/Watkins (in the Double Sculls), Copeland/Hosking (in the Lightweight Double Sculls) and of course Nicola Adams in the inaugural Woman’s boxing competition.

2) Phelps Become’s the Most Decorated Olympian ever
The Olympic Swimming meet was billed as the greatest swimmer ever, Michael Phelps, versus the pretender to the throne, Ryan Lochte.  Phelp’s motivation was that he needed three medals’s to become the Olympic’s most decorated athlete.

Thing’s did not start well for Phelps as he finished fourth in the 400m individual medley, well behind Lochte.  Phelps fortunes picked up as he picked up a silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay.  He equalled the record by finishing an agonising 0.05 seconds behind South African Chad de Clos in the 200m butterfly, however he broke the record by being part of the US team that won the 4x200m Freestyle relay.  Astonishingly Phelps went on to add three more medals, two relay golds and the 200m Individual Medley title to his haul – which takes his all time total to 22 medals.

3) Britain’s “Golden Hour”

If Sydney 2000 had “Magic Monday” – the night Kathy Freeman won the 400m title on the Athletics track, then London 2012 scheduled “Super Saturday” which was the busiest day of the games.  “Super Saturday” was also Britain’s most successful day ever in Olympic History, with gold coming from Katherine Copeland & Sophie Hosking in the Lightweight Double Sculls, the Mens Foursome’s and the Women’s Team Pursuit at the Velodrome,  The climax of this day was from 9pm to 10pm when Jessica Ennis won her 800m race to confirm her place as Olympic Champion in the heptathlon, Britain's third Gold medal in the heptathlon after Peters in 1972 and Lewis in 2000.  That was about 40 minutes after Greg Rutherford jumped 8.21m, who an hour later was confirmed as Britain’s first Olympic champion in the Long Jump since 1964m as he extended his jump to 8.31m.  Completing the triumphervate of track and field gold’s was Mo Farrah, who took the Men’s 10,000m title with an excellent run that showed awareness & timing.  Abilities Farrah would show again the following week in the 5,000m.

4) Bolt
There doesn’t need to be anything else to be said about this man.  Suffice to say we kind of wondered if he was coming into these games in top form and was able to hold off the challenge from the pretender to the throne, Johann Blake.

After retaining all of the titles he won in Beijing, I suspect that he was closer to top form than we thought…

5) Hoy takes his sixth Gold
While Steve Redgrave remains for some the British Olympic athlete, his record as Britain’s most decorated Olympian came under threat from two fronts.  Britain’s Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins drew level with Redgrave with 6 Olympic medals with his victory in the Men’s time trial, but it was Chris Hoy that overhauled Redgrave’s Gold tally. 

Hoy drew level by being part of the Men’s Team Sprint victory.  His remaining chance to overhaul Redgrave came in the Keirin  Leading most of the way, he was overtaken by Levy in the back straight, but held his line to take back the lead and win his sixth Olympic gold..

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