2012 Olympics: Day 8
Events watched: Evening Athletics - best night of athletics EVER!
Our seat for the evening session: Row 14 above the long jumpers' seats!
Performance of Day & British Performance of Day
It's all the same today - 3 amazing Golds - all equal in excitement and achievement! When the schedule came out and we applied for tickets this was the night I prayed hardest to get a ticket for (never mind the 100m final!) I knew this would be a special night to see Jess and Mo going for Gold medals, and for Greg Rutherford to jump to Gold as well was just too exciting! In time order here's an attempt to describe the atmosphere¦
Jess Ennis - Such an impressive heptathlon performance! The 800m last event felt like it was a chance to cheer her amazing victory for 2 entire laps. It was a very sweet moment to see the anticipated dream come true and tiny Jess cross the line arms high and become Olympic champion. The noise in the stadium literally rings your eardrums - and for Jess that ringing went on a while! The heptathletes' lap of honour is always one of the loveliest moments of any championships and once the girls had all picked themselves up off the track Jess led them off draped in the biggest Union Flag. They bow and thank the crowd for supporting them, and we cheer their incredible achievement and thank them for being such amazing competitors.
Greg Rutherford - Happening right in front of us this was just brilliant! The first couple of rounds didn't produce anything huge, and Chris Tomlinson was leading with 8.06 which was exciting in itself. Then Greg jumped into the lead in the second round and YES - fairly good chance GB had a long jump medal! As the rounds went on, no one jumped further except Greg himself, until the last round and one by one as the last jumpers jumped you realised Greg's jump was possibly the Gold! Each jumper had you nerve wracked that they would go further ... 3 left and you knew he had a medal. By this time the 10 k had started so you didn't know where to look or cheer! But soon Greg's up for his last jump and the crowd are wild all over again - he's the Olympic champion!
Mo Farah - With all the long jump excitement going on it was about lap 10 when the 10k was the only excitement to cheer and clap! By this time Tadesse was surging and there were mini breaks appearing so have you nervous Mo was going to be okay. Add to that a bump or two between the runners and it was lucky the 25 laps were counting down fast! With about 5 laps to go we were on our feet as they all went past - I looked behind to see if folk were sitting down and we were blocking the view of folk behind us. The lovely chap behind me replied 'don't you worry no ones sitting down for a while yet!' Excellent. When Mo went to the front it was to another (somehow) louder wall of noise. Just keep cheering him and surely he can hold on and win...? It's Mo - of course he can, FANTASTIC! And like the fantastic sportsman and friend he is, one foot over the line and mid celebration he's looking back to see where Galen is. It's okay - he's got silver! Boy, this was definitely the most tensely exciting Gold of the evening! The Gold won, there were many hugs in the crowd that Mo had become Olympic champion.
Most Inspiring Performance
This has to go to Galen Rupp. We hoped Mo and Galen would get a 1-2, but where Mo's medal was a bit more certain, you knew Galen would truly need the race of his life to medal! So to see Galen Rupp win a Silver medal is as exciting as Mo's Gold, a non African sprinting for any distance medal is a rare and special sight. Fabulous reward for both him and his coach Alberto Salazar. Can't they put Alberto out there on the podium too as coach and inspiration to 2 awesome awesome talents?
Most Exciting Volunteer Job
The guy left at the long jump scooping up Greg Rutherford's collection of kit! Greg - quite rightly - took off on a long lap of honour, the other jumpers all left the track and Greg's kit was placed in a big box to find him later, while he enjoyed his victory!
Among all the noise of Britain's finest athletics hour ever it's kind of hard to call this, as the cheer was pretty constant but I reckon it peaked as Mo came down the home straight.
Wonderful 'I'm Olympic Champion' moment that the TV might not have shown
Greg Rutherford - when he finally finished his lap of honour he came back to put on his track suit and took a walk down the runway. Savouring the glory of the occasion he knelt down and touched the take off board, then moved on to do the same to the long jump pit picking up the sand in his hands. Nice!
Somehow, eventually, we managed to sleep that night!
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