Today was a great day for the Olympics, in more ways than one. The crowds turned out in force for some events, notably the very competitive swimming in the Aquatics Centre which saw superb dominance by Team USA in most events.
But the most thrilling event was the Men's 4 x 200m relay which had Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. It was a nail biting race in every sense. While Lochte gave his team a head start, being a few seconds ahead of his nearest rivals, it was Michael Phelps who carried the race on the last leg by increasing that lead to bring The USA home in good time to claim a well deserved Gold medal. He now has 19 medals (16 Golds, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze), making him the most decorated Olympian on earth! What an accolade to carry around, especially if this is his last Olympics.
Needless to say, his efforts galvanised not only the audience, but his Mom and sister who were cheering home on loudly from their seats. And sensing the magnitude of the moment when Michael finished his race, the crowd gave him a very appreciative standing ovation for his remarkable swim and past Olympian achievement. I was really a moment to witness.
To finish off the day for America, the Women's artistic Gymnastics Gold medal was also secured by Team USA in stunning individual displays.
BRITAIN'S EQUESTRIAN TRIUMPH
In the Equestrian Centre in North Greenwich, though Team Germany took the gold with a polished finish, Great Britain won the silver medal and New Zealand got the bronze. The Germans have a strong history of winning in this sport. The British medal is their 18th Olympic Eventing medal and was secured by Tina Cook's Jumping round in which she had just one time fault. Princess Anne also got the opportunity to present a Silver medal to her daughter, Zara Phillips, who was among the Team GB medal winners .
However, in other sports in which Team GB are making their appearance without any medals to be seen, there have already been anxious questions from the media, of course, as to when we will be seeing some real action instead of the host nation lagging behind other countries. Even the Telegraph has already produced a chart to compare this performance with other Olympics and to show the stage in each competition when GB started earning medals. The chart mainly reveals that we tend to get off to a slow start and have our medals in the middle and end of the Games. So perhaps the best is yet to come! The enthusiasm is certainly still in place, even if there has been a few disappointing performances, so we all just need to get behind our Team and be patient.
Finally, young Ye Shiwen from China, who has been raising eyebrows with her superfast times did it again today and won her swimming race, the 200m individual medley, to secure a second gold medal. There weren't as many protests this time perhaps as the doubters are gradually realising her talent. But she will certainly be one to watch for the future.
15 Gold medals are being awarded today in the following nine sports:
*Canoe/Kayak (Tony Estanguet, France)
*Diving (Chen Riolin and Hao Wang, China)
*Equestrian(2) (Team Germany; Michael Jung, Germany)
*Fencing (Sheng Lei, China)
*Gymnastics (Team USA),
*Judo(2) (Urska Zolnir, Slovakia; Jae-Bum Kim, South Korea)
*Shooting(1) (Vincent Hancock, USA)
*Swimming(4) (Allison Schmitt, USA; Chad le Clos, South Africa; Ye Shiwen, China; Team USA)
*Weightlifting(2) (Qinfeng Ling, China; Malya Maneza, Kazakhstan)
DAY 4 MEDAL LEADERS
1. China 23 Total (13Gold, 6Silver 4Bronze)
2. United States 23 (9Gold, 8Silver,6Bronze)
3. France 7 (4Gold, 3Silver, 4Bronze)
4. South Korea 8 (3Gold, 2Silver 3Bronze)
5. North Korea 4 (3Gold, 1Bronze)
21. Great Britain 4 (2Silver, 2Bronze)
(34 countries have now won medals. 53 gold medals of the 302 available have now been decided.)
For detailed results and LIVE viewings
BBC Sport (videos might not be accessible)
London2012.com (Great pictures)
On a cultural basis, London is buzzing with a new innovative idea. All the statues in the capital have been dressed for the Olympic occasion in fancy hats. This has been the brainchild of Hatwalk, an event that celebrates both London’s creativity and heritage. Some of the UK’s best milliners and hatmakers, including Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones, acclaimed for designing hats that were worn at the Royal wedding last April, have created custom hats for some of the country’s most admirable historical characters.
The hats can be seen on a total of 21 statues around the capital, all within walking distance of each other, including King George IV, the Duke of Wellington and Lord Admiral Nelson in Trafalgar Square.