Athletes thrill crowds on London 2012’s Super Saturday
With 25 gold medals on offer, Saturday had been labelled “Super Saturday” at the London 2012 Olympic Games – and the action couldn’t have got off to a more dramatic start.
The women’s triathlon saw the first medals of the day decided by a thrilling photo finish, as Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig and Sweden’s Lisa Norden sprinted to the line after a gruelling battle through Hyde Park.
In the end, it was Spirig who triumphed, with Norden taking silver and Australia’s Erin Densham claiming bronze.
Another gripping contest was also taking place on the rowing lake at Eton Dorney, where Great Britain and Australia were locked in a head-to-head duel in the men’s coxless four. To the delight of the home crowd, it was the host nation that claimed the Olympic title – their fourth successive gold in the event – with Australia taking silver.
There was further gold for Britain in the women’s lightweight double sculls ahead of China and Greece, while Denmark claimed the Olympic title in the men’s lightweight double sculls, with Britain taking silver and New Zealand winning bronze.
In women's 50m rifle 3 positions final, meanwhile, Jamie Lynn Gray won gold for the USA, with Ivana Maksimovic of Serbia taking silver and Adela Sykorova of the Czech Republic claiming bronze. Gray also set a new Olympic record of 592 on her way to the Olympic title.
The action continued in the afternoon, with USA tennis star Serena Williams completing a career “Golden Slam” in the women’s singles after adding the Olympic gold medal to her collection of Grand Slam titles. Williams beat Russia’s Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-1 in the final
Guatemala’s Erick Barrondo won his country's first-ever Olympic medal after claiming silver in the men’s 20km walk behind China's Chen Ding.
China also dominated the badminton courts at Wembley Arena, with Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei holding their nerve to win the women’s doubles gold and Li Xuerui beating compatriot Wang Yihan to claim the women’s singles title.
In a stunning conclusion to the day’s events, hosts Great Britain won three gold medals in the Olympic Stadium as Jess Ennis claimed the heptathlon title, Greg Rutherford leapt to long jump gold and Mo Farah triumphed in a thrilling 10,000m.
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price then won a close 100m final to bring the curtain down on a truly “super” day.