2012 Olympics: Day 12

Events watched: Morning Athletics

British Performance of Day

I picked two, one for excellence and one personal one for emotion. Both feature stars of the future. Sophie Hitchin, like Lawrence Okaye’s discus on Monday, had two below par throws in the first two rounds. Composing herself fabulously and responding to the roars of the crowd, the hammer went out to a new British record and Sophie duly advanced to the final. Lynsey Sharp from Edinburgh, who we have all known since she was “tiny,” was selected - some would say controversially - for the 800 metres. To see her race down the home straight making up several places in the last 200metres and finish second in her heat, so advancing to the semi final, was really quite emotional. I am sure it was even more so for her close friends and family.

Most Inspiring Performance

Observing Ashton Eaton, the American who broke the world Decathlon record at the US trials earlier this summer started his quest for Decathlon Gold this morning. His whole demeanour is just so focussed yet relaxed, epitomising someone right on top of their game and at home with the camaraderie and banter that exists among all decathletes, yet still able to focus on the task in hand which is obviously to “Go For Gold!”

Loudest Moment

Strangely, the loudest moment was not for an amazing world class performance. It came on a start line, when Mo Farah was introduced to the crowd at the start of his 5,000 metre heat!

Most Interesting Volunteer Job

This one isn’t so cool as handling Usain Bolt's kit basket, but typifies the many totally important tasks that thousands of volunteers carry out just to make everything go smoothly. When you leave the park and head to the exits and Stratford station, along with several thousand other people, most of whom are total strangers to London’s transport system, there are volunteers to direct you. Tonight, two girls were in Jive dance mode and rather animatedly were going into Bolt's Lightening Bolt pose from one side to the other, while almost singing “Central line to your right…Jubilee line to your left” and so on. Fabulous!

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