Chris Hoy crowned British Olympic king
At the Olympic Velodrome, Chris Hoy successfully defended his keirin title to win a second gold at London 2012, after helping Great Britain to victory in the team sprint. It was the Scot’s sixth Olympic gold in total, and his seventh medal overall from his three appearances at the Games, making him the most successful British Olympian of all time. Cheered on by a euphoric crowd, Hoy pipped Germany’s Maximilian Levy to the line, while New Zealander Simon van Velthooven and Ted Mulder of the Netherlands were tied for the bronze.
Another British favourite Victoria Pendleton, who had already won gold in the women’s keirin, suffered heartache in the defence of her individual sprint title, as she was disqualified after the first leg of the three-leg final against Anna Meares for straying out of the sprint lane. That enabled the Australian to clinch her second Olympic gold, eight years after winning the women’s 500m in Athens. Laura Trott ensured the day ended on another high for Team GB at the velodrome, as she won the first ever Olympic title in the women’s Omnium, completing the six-discipline event ahead of American Sarah Hammer and Australia’s Annette Edmondson, to add to the gold she won as part of the British women’s pursuit team.
Taoufik Makhloufi wins the 1,500m
Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi won the final of the 1,500m in 3:34.08 after launching a successful break in the last lap. USA’s Leonel Manzano emerged at the head of the four-strong chasing pack to claim the silver, just 71/100ths of a second behind Makhloufi, while Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider crossed the line in 3:35.13 for the bronze.
There was a tense wait at the end of the women’s 100m hurdles final, as all eyes turned to the giant scoreboard for confirmation of Sally Pearson’s victory in a new Olympic record time of 12.35. The Australian finished a mere 2/100ths of a second ahead of the defending champion Dawn Harper of the USA, who was followed over the line by two other Americans, Kellie Wells, who took the bronze, and Lolo Jones who came in fourth.
In the men’s high jump, Russia’s Ivan Ukhov was the only athlete to go clear at 2.38m (doing so with his first attempt) and that was enough to secure the gold. USA’s Erik Kynard took silver with a best effort of 2.33m, while the bronze was shared by three athletes Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT), Derek Drouin (CAN) and Robert Grabarz (GBR) – all of whom cleared 2.29m.
The men’s discus title went to Germany’s Robert Harding who recorded a distance of 68.27m with his fifth throw, to take the gold ahead of Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi, who managed 68.18m with his first attempt, and Estonian Gerd Kanter, who recorded a best distance of 68.03m with his fifth throw.
Brownlee brothers share the triathlon podium
Tens of thousands of spectators flocked to Hyde Park in central London to witness Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee win the men’s triathlon in emphatic style. Having completed the 1.5km swim and 43km cycle race at a high tempo, Brownlee broke free of Spain’s Javier Gómez in the last few kilometres of the 10km run to cross the line first, draped in a Union Jack flag, with a gap of 11 seconds. Alistair’s younger brother Jonathan finished 31 seconds off the pace, having picked up a 15 second stop penalty during the first transition for mounting his bicycle too early, but still did enough to claim the bronze. At the finish Brownlee brothers met in a warm embrace, much to the delight of a delirious public.
Two medals in one day for Alexandra Raisman
At the North Greenwich Arena, China’s gymnasts claimed a one-two in the balance beam, as Deng Linlin (15.600 pts) and Sui Lu (15.500 pts) took gold and silver respectively. Behind them, Romania’s Cătălina Ponor and USA’s Alexandra Raisman recorded the same score of 15.066 pts, but the American was awarded the bronze by virtue of a higher execution score. Raisman again got the better of Ponor on the floor, where the American delivered a wonderful routine to become USA’s first ever gold medal winner in the discipline. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina won the bronze. That took Raisman’s London 2012 medal tally to three, as she also captained USA’s women to gold in the team competition. The men’s horizontal bar produced some sensational performances, notably from “the Flying Dutchman” Epke Zonderland, who served up an incredible routine that linked together the discipline’s three most difficult manoeuvres to win gold, and give the Netherlands its first ever Olympic gymnastics medal.Joining Zonderland on the podium were Germany’s Fabian Hambüchen (silver) and China’s Zou Kai, who took bronze to notch up his sixth Olympic medal. On the men’s parallel bars, China’s Feng Zhe took the title ahead of Germany’s Marcel Ngyuen (silver) and Hamilton Sabot (bronze), the first Frenchman to secure a podium finish on this apparatus and his country’s only medal winner in the gymnastics at London 2012.
Golden moment for Team GB in the dressage
Prior to London 2012, the host nation’s dressage team had never even managed a place on the podium in the team event, which had been completely dominated by Germany since Los Angeles 1984. All that changed at Greenwich Park, where Charlotte Dujardin (on Valegro), Carl Hester (on Uthopia) and Laura Bechtolsheimer (on Mistral Hojris) scored highest to claim gold, relegating the German trio of Dorothee Schneider, Kristina Sprehe and Helen Langehanenberg to an unfamiliar second place. Three-time individual dressage champion Anky van Grunsven, and her Dutch team-mates Edward Gal and Adelinde Cornelissen took the bronze.
China maintain perfect record in the table tennis
At the ExCeL, Li Xiaoxia and Ding Ning, who faced each other in the final of the table tennis women’s singles, joined forces for the team event, along with Guo Yue, and the trio proved far too strong for Japan, prevailing 3-0 in the final to underline their dominance of the sport. Singapore produced a similarly comprehensive victory over South Korea in the bronze medal match. By this stage, with just the men’s team final still to come, China had managed a clean sweep of the table tennis gold medals, winning four out of four.
Synchronised swimmers and divers take centre stage at Aquatics Centre
Continuing an uninterrupted sequence of Russian synchronised swimming triumphs dating back to Sydney 2000, Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina secured a resounding victory in the women’s duet at the Aquatics Centre, delighting the crowds with a superb free programme. Spanish pair Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes took the silver, while China’s Liu Ou and Huang Xuechen claimed bronze. While that was happening, Russian diver Ilya Zakharov produced an assured performance in the men’s individual 3m springboard to see off a dual Chinese challenge from Qin Kai and He Chong, each of whom had won gold medals in Beijing four years earlier.
RS:X reaches dramatic climax
Following the completion of the medal races at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Dutchman Dorian van Rijsselberghe and Spain’s Marina Alabau were rewarded for their dominance in the men’s and women’s RS:X windsurfing class. With seven victories from 11 races, including the medal race, van Rjjsselberghe’s victory looked pretty assured from early on, while Great Britain’s Nick Dempsey secured a firm grip on second place in the early stages too. There was drama in the battle for bronze though, as Poland’s Przemyslav Miarrczynski did just enough in the medal race, finishing fourth, to secure the bronze.
Alabau was equally dominant in the women’s competition, securing four race victories on her way to the podium, which she shared with Finland’s Tuuli Petäjä (silver) and Poland’s Zofia Klepacka (bronze).
Iranians shine in weightlifting and wrestling
Iran underlined their status as one of the dominant forces in the weightlifting competitions. Following on from the bronze won by Kianoush Rostami in the 85kg category, and Navab Nasirshelal’s silver in the 105kg, the Iranians went one better in the +105kg category, with Behdad Salimi, lifting 208kg in the snatch – 6kg off his world record – and then 247kg in the clean and jerk, to assemble a gold-medal winning total of 455kg. Sajiad Anoushiravani made it an Iranian one-two on th podium with a total of 449kg ((204kg + 245kg), while Russia’s Ruslan Albegov took the bronze, lifting a total of 448kg (208kg + 240kg). There was further joy for Iran in the Greco-Roman wrestling, where Ghasem Rezaei won the men’s -96kg category final, defeating Russia’s Rustam Totrov in two periods. The other wrestling gold of the day went to South Korea’s Kim Hyeon-Woo who overcame Hungarian Tamás Lőrincz in the final of the men’s -66kg category.
Podium places come into view in the team sports
The semi-finals of the men’s Olympic football tournament produced an all-Latin American showdown for the gold medal In the semi-finals, the Brazilian "Seleção" eased past South Korea 3-0 thanks to a strike from Romulo and a double from Leandro Damiao; meanwhile, Mexico overcame Japan 3-1, with goals from Fabian, Peralta and Cortes, after Otsu had given the Japanese an early lead.
The women’s basketball reached the quarter-finals stage, with the USA (91-48 versus Canada), Australia (75-60 vs China), Russia (66-63 vs Turkey) and France (71-68 vs the Czech Republic) all progressing into the last four. The semi-final line-up for the women’s handball was confirmed too, with Norway, Spain, South Korea and Montenegro all winning their quarter-final ties. South Korea’s women also progressed to the last four of the women’s volleyball, alongside Brazil, Japan and the USA. Finally, in the women’s water polo the USA defeated Australia 11-9 to secure a final showdown against Spain, who edged through their semi-final against Hungary 10-9.