London 2012 Olympics: Gold keeps on coming as Games enter home straight
MO FARAH sealed his place as a British sporting legend last night after adding the 5,000-metres gold medal to the one he claimed in the 10,000-metres last week, in a thrilling highlight of the final full day of the Olympic Games that now sees Team GB stand on 28 gold medals.
The 29-year-old kissed the track and pointed to the heavens to chants of “Mo! Mo! Mo!” from the home crowd, before embracing his wife and daughter at the trackside.
The crowd erupted when he won the 10,000-metres last week, and they stood and roared him on all the way as he scored the golden double and seized a place in history.
He joins an elite band of only six men to have won
the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres double at the same Games, including athletics greats Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia, Finland’s Lasse Viren, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.
Somali-born Farah stepped out on to the Olympic track
for the third time in seven days in the quest to win the 5,000 metres, a distance at which he is already the world champion.
“The American guy tried to come past me but I knew I just had to hold on to it,” Farah said, moments after sprinting into British Olympic history.
“And going into it there was great support from the crowd, and it means a lot to me. I’m just amazed. Two gold medals, who would have thought that?
“It was unbelievable and I just want to thank everyone who supported me.”
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe was among the first to congratulate Farah last night.
“Mo Farah – a distance-running great and arguably the best British runner of all time,” said the two-time Olympic 1,500-metres champion.
Later on the track, the eagerly anticipated showdown between the United States and Jamaica in the men’s 4x100-metres relay saw the arguments over sprinting superiority settled once and for all, as Usain Bolt led the Jamaican team to victory, smashing the world record.
It was Bolt’s third gold medal of the Games and the sixth of his career, having won gold at the same three events four years ago in Beijing.
Elsewhere on the track last night, Britain failed to reach the podium in the women’s 4x400-metres relay, with the team, including Scotland’s
Lee McConnell, coming in
fifth in a race dominated by the US.
In the women’s 800-metres final, world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa spent much of the race at the back of the field, and left her attack too late, coming home second to Mariya Savinova of Russia.
Britain landed another gold late last night when boxer Luke Campbell defeated Ireland’s John Joe Nevin at the Excel Arena.
The victory for Campbell, 24, from Hull, against Nevin marked the latest episode in one of the most intense and engrossing rivalries in amateur boxing.
Teammates Freddie Evans and Joshua Anthony will be looking to follow his lead when they compete in the welter and super-heavy finals respectively later today.
Great Britain now has two gold and one bronze in boxing and is on course for its best showing in an Olympic ring
since 1956, when it won two golds – one by Scottish lightweight hero Dick McTaggart – a silver and three bronzes in Melbourne.
Earlier in the day, the man dubbed the “Usain Bolt of the water” won the 200-metres kayak sprint to take home Team GB’s 26th gold medal.
Ed McKeever triumphed after crossing the line in an exhilarating 36.246 seconds, adding to a British gold medal haul at its highest in 104 years.
“I’m so happy. I feel relief,” said the trainee accountant from Wiltshire, widely recognised as one of the greatest
canoe sprinters of all time.
Speaking after his win, he said: “It sounds stupid but
it’s not elation – more relief – and I’m so happy to do it in front of a home crowd. I was like a kid at Christmas this morning waiting to open his presents.”
Team GB is now firmly on track to take third place in the final Olympic medal table.
Britain took a bronze medal in the men’s kayak double 200-metres final, with European champions Liam Heath and Jon Schofield coming third behind Russia and Belarus.
In the Aquatics Centre, teenage diving sensation Tom Daley earned his place alongside Team GB’s top athletes as he won a bronze medal late last night. David Boudia of the US took the gold.
The 18-year-old looked elated as the final results were shown, hugging those around him and jumping in the pool along with the entire Team GB coaching team. The roar from supporters whenever he appeared on the platform seemed likely to raise the roof.
“I really wish my dad was here to see that”, said Daley, whose father died from cancer last May.
“It’s really tough not having him here, but I’m so happy with the fact that all the hard work that we put in together, all the effort that we put into training, all the ups and downs – I know that if he was here he’d be very proud, and I wish he was here, to be honest, but I know he’s not, and to make up for it all my family and friends are here.”
Daley, who became the youngest ever male Olympian from Great Britain when he competed in the Beijing Games aged just 14, added: “Because of all the hard work that I’ve put in over the 18 months, after losing my dad, all the tough times, and it was about time that my family had some good news, and today was the day that I’ve got something to show for all the hard work and all the effort I’ve put in.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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