It was a day of memorable performances for Team GB but sadly one which ended on a bum note with the elimination of the football team. It may be team Great Britain but they were taken down by England’s penalty curse.
The defeat of Stuart Pearce’s side at the hands of South Korea still couldn’t take the sheen of what was a rather successful day for the home team. In total they picked up six golds and one silver on day eight to take the overall tally to 14 golds seven silvers and eight bronzes.
Two golds and a silver from the rowers started the day off. Britain’s success on the bikes this year continued with the women taking gold in the team pursuit.
Then it was back on the track where the late night drama kicked off. Jessica Ennis’ heptathlon gold had been secured in the six events prior to the 800m race but she finished off a glorious games by winning the final event too in a time of 2.08.65mins. We’ll be seeing a lot more of her on Saturday night chat shows in the near future. Which is no bad thing.
To come into this event with all that pressure and everyone saying you’re going to win gold … I’m so shocked I can’t believe it…After all the hard work and disappointment of Beijing, everyone has supported me so much. They said: ‘Go for another four years,’ and I’ve done that. – Jessica Ennis
Right on her heels was Mark Rutherford who picked up a fifth gold in the long jump. His 8.31m jump may not be a mind-blowing distance but it was the longest of the day and that’s all that matters.
Mo Farah wrapped up the success with a spectacular win in the men’s 10,000m final. Waiting until the very last lap to make his big move, Farah was roared around the track by the near delirious 80,000 home fans. His bursts of pace were too much for his opponents and Farah finished in 27 minutes 30.42 seconds to end a run of four straight Ethiopian champions. Next up the 5000m.
People say there’s pressure being in a home Olympics, but I don’t think there’s pressure. They (the crowd) give you that lift, that buzz. You have to use the crowd and that made the difference for sure. – Mo Farah
In between all this Andy Murray guaranteed himself at least two silvers by partnering Laura Robson to a quarter-final win in the morning and a semi-final win in the afternoon. He’ll face Federer in the men’s final and join Robson to take on Belarusians Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi in the mixed doubles final on Sunday. The Scot is playing really well and he looks like he’s actually having fun on court. Which makes you think he should have cried on television a lot sooner.
Adam Gemili, the 100m sprinting 18-year old who was playing football less than a year ago impressed in his heat. He came second to world record holder Asafa Powell with an impressive 10.09. His time was bettered by team-mate Dwain Chambers. Having fought to be allowed to compete at the Olympics following his 2003 drugs ban, Chambers looks determined to make the most of the opportunity. He won his heat in a blistering 10.02.
Considering the lack of serious love for Team GB footballers, coupled with inevitability of a penalty shoot-out containing England players, the headlines will speak largely of the glorious successes on the track, in the water, on the bikes and in the sand-pit. And so they should.