Yesterday was the day to be in the Olympic Stadium in London, or in front of a television, especially for the athletics part of it. So much was exploding around them that the audience in the packed stadium must have had their emotions on a roller coaster. But no matter what was happening elsewhere in the Games, the day belonged to track and field, not only because the greatest athlete that has lived was running again to cement his legendary status, but also because one could sense history about to happen with a little known Kenyan runner, David Lekuta Rudisha. Broadcasters were so excited with what he could do, they aired an interview with him before the race to build up the attention and expectation.
Once everything got underway, Usain Bolt did not disappoint. Despite some anxious moments as he checked where his training partner, Yohan Blake would be in the race, Bolt crossed the line with ease and into history as the first man ever to defend his sprint double successfully in the Olympics. He even had time to talk to one of the GamesMakers before his race. As Michael Johnson commented, he could not have done that before his race because he would have had to focus on that totally. Yet Bolt could switch on and off, looking entirely relaxed enough to even talk to a helper and still beat everyone else on the field. In fact, Jamaican athletes made the race a clean sweep for their country with Yohan Blake taking Silver and Warren Weir the Bronze. The best thing that Jamaica can now do with Usain Bolt and his obvious people skills is to give him a major role in helping to shape the the country and its youth. He could do so much to instil confidence and pride in a generation. Bolt's talents, both physical and emotional, are just too good to waste.
However, an hour before Bolt's race, the Stadium had already lit up with the kind of excitement not seen in athletics for a while when David Rudisha ran the 800 metres. Though relatively unknown, he was the clear favourite to win because of recent performances. His polished running and elegant strides made fast work of hi two-lap race and gave him the first world record of track and field, smashing almost a second off the time. A truly remarkable runner who was following in the footsteps of his father, a former Olympian. Everyone, even Lord Sebastian Coe who dominated that race, has described his run as the greatest race of that form in the Olympics. A truly deserved Gold medal won by a very dignified, confident sportsman who has taken his place among the sporting greats.
Finally, the last bit of history was made by Nicola Adams of Great Britain, the first ever Olympic female Boxer, and what a punch she packs for such a small athlete. Adams made short work of every champion she fought, even those who beat her before, like the Chinese and Indian champions who dominated the field. But what is simply amazing about Nicola Adams is her positive personality, her quiet confidence, sense of gratitude for the way the audience supported her and that incredible smile. Britons have found a new star to follow in these Games and what a role model she will turn out to be for her peers. A pretty exciting thought the influence she could have.
Altogether a fantastic thrilling day which confirmed even more the 2012 Olympic Games as a triumph for the host country. It was a truly great day to be British and at the Games.
Today's Other Highlights
The Republic of Ireland also took its only Gold medal so far through boxing, with Katie Taylor, a fiesty determined sportswoman, overwhelming all in her path to claim her crown. That would have given a lot of Irish fans something tangible to cheer at last. In the women's football, USA defeated Japan, despite their sturdy defence. Japan also qualified for the last four teams of the men's football (which i will be going to see at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium shrtly!). They will be battling South Korea for the Bronze medal. It should be pretty exciting as both teams would not wish to leave the stadium without a medal.
As far as the medals go, the USA team has now taken a commanding lead in the table, with 90 medals overall, including 39 Golds, over China's haul of 80 (37 Golds). Rather impressive, especially with all the relays and other athletic events still to come. The last two days of the Olympic Games could be even more thrilling.
22 Gold medals were awarded in the following 11 sports:
*Athletics(5) (Ashton Eaton, USA; Christian Taylor, USA; David Rudisha, Kenya; Usain Bolt, Jamaica; Barbora Spotakova, Czechoslovakia)
*Beach Volleyball (Jonas Reckermann & Julius Brink, Germany)
*Boxing(3) (Cancan Ren, China; Katie Taylor, Ireland; Claressa Shields, USA)
*Canoe Sprint(4) (Team Germany; Team Australia; Danuta Kozak, Hungary; Team Germany)
*Diving (Ruolin Chen, China)
*Equestrian (Charlotte Dujardin, Great Britain)
*Football (Team USA)
*Swimming (Eva Risztove, Hungary)
*Taeqwondo(2)(Jade Jones, Great Britain; Servet Tazegul, Turkey)
*Water Polo (Team USA)
*Wrestling(2) (Saori Yoshida, Japan; Natalia Vorobieva, Russian Fed.)
DAY 13 MEDAL LEADERS
1. United States 90 Total (39Gold, 25Silver,26Bronze)
2. China 80 (37Gold, 24Silver 19Bronze)
3. Great Britain 52 (25Gold, 13Silver, 14Bronze)
4. Russian Federation 56 (12Gold, 21Silver, 23Bronze)
5. South Korea 25 (12Gold, 7Silver 6Bronze)
6. Germany 37 (10Gold, 16Silver,11Bronze)
7. France 29 (8Gold, 9Silver 12Bronze)
8. Hungary 15 (8Gold, 4Silver, 3Bronze)
9. Italy 19 (7Gold, 6Silver, 6Bronze)
10. Australia 29 (6Gold, 13Silver 10Bronze)
(80 countries have won medals. 235 Gold medals of 302 available have now been decided.)
For detailed results and LIVE viewings
BBC Sport (videos might not be accessible)
London2012.com (Great pictures)