Saturday August 4th was undoubtedly the highlight of the 2012 Olympics from a British perspective. It was the most successful day for a British team in over 100 years since the 1908 Games, which were also held in London.
The final day of the rowing regatta brought a gold medal in the men’s four, 20 minutes later another followed in the women’s lightweight double skulls.
Fast forward to the evening and a world record is broken in the velodrome as Britain win the women’s team pursuit.
However, it is the events in the Olympic Stadium that many remember most vividly, as the trio of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all chased athletics gold.
It was Ennis-Hill first, with victory pretty much a formality after a good long jump and personal best in the javelin on day two of the heptathlon meaning all she had to do was finish within 15 seconds of her closest competition in the 800m to top the multi-event podium.
Ahead after the first lap, the Brit slowed marginally on the second circuit, before conjuring up a sprint finish to cross the line in the lead, securing gold by over 300 points thanks to her tally of 6955, which is a substantial difference in heptathlon terms.
While Ennis-Hall had been running for gold, over in the long-jump pit, Rutherford had been steadily building an advantage of his own.
He moved ahead with a second-round leap of 8.21m and then extended it by jumping 8.31m in round four. No other competitor cleared further than 8.16m, giving the Brit a dominant victory.
As Rutherford’s triumph was being confirmed, Farah was already a few laps into the men’s 10,000m and the early slow pace was playing to the strengths of his quick finish.
With two laps remaining, there were still as many as 12 athletes in the lead group, with Farah improving from the midfield to move ahead as they reached the bell to signal the start of the final lap.
Nobody could get by Farah and a terrifically fast last 400m of 53.48 took gold ahead of US training partner Galen Rupp.
So what are the chances of a repeat at the Estadio Olímpico Joao Havelange?
The Olympic schedule has put the same three athletics events together again on Saturday August 13th, day two of a 10-day programme.
However, this time the running order has changed.
Rutherford will be first to get underway, although the long-jump final will still be ongoing by the time Farah steps onto the track just over 30 minutes later. It is then another 90 minutes before the heptathlon 800m closes proceedings for the day.
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