Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sporting Picks of 2012: Part 4; August 4th

"Super Saturday" At The London Olympics

The sporting highlight of this year was of course the Summer Olympics, held of course in London.  Having already posted on my five moments of the Olympics (as well as my five performances), I thought that I would concentrate here on the middle Saturday of the Olympics – a day that saw Britain win six gold medals.  To put that achievement into context, Britain won more medals on Saturday 4 August 2012 that they won in both the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics.

Farah wins the first of his 5,000/10,000 double
While there were two further rowing gold’s (Copeland & Hosking in the Lightweight Double Sculls and the Men’s Foursomes) and a gold in the Velodrome (Woman’s Team Pursuit), the day belonged to the Athletes on the second day of the Athletics programme.

While Jessica Ennis had been the dominant Heptathlete since the Berlin World Championships in 2009, her loss in Daegu in 2011 had cast doubt over her chances of victory.  Ennis cast that doubt aside and dominated the Heptathlon, taking the lead in the opening discipline (100m hurdles).  In contrast, Mo Farah emerged during the Daegu World Championships as a contender for the longer distance races by winning the 5,000m.  Farah doubled up for the Olympics, going for both the 5,000m and the 10,000m.

Unlike Ennis, Farrah has excelled in a discipline where there is little history of British success, the last male British medal in the 10,000m was at the Montreal Olympics (in sharp contrast, Liz McColgan became the World Champion at 10,000m at the Tokyo World Championships in 1991 & maybe should have added the Olympic crown in Barcelona a year later).
While Ennis & Farrah were expected to be contenders, the Long jumper Greg Rutherford kind of flew under the radar as a medal contender (though not thought of as a contender for the title itself).  Yet his second jump of 8.21 metres was enough to take gold, though he did extend his jump to 8.31 metres.

The funny thing though is that if I had to pick one moment that encapsulated these games perfectly, it would not be Britain’s most successful hour on the Athletics track but the Mens 8 (above) at the rowing regatta.  The mens team were leading at the half way point of their race, but having put everything into the race fell behind as the German crew found that extra gear to take Gold.  The British crew finished with Bronze medals but conveyed both the sense of disappointment at loosing alongside an air of dignity that has been amiss from Football.

No comments:

Post a Comment