One month after losing the Wimbledon final to a superior Roger Federer Britain’s Andy Murray gained sweet revenge by thrashing the Swiss Ace to win Olympic gold. Later in the day Usain Bolt silenced his doubters when the Jamaican won the blue riband 100 metres final in a new Olympic record time.
Tennis’ gold medal match at the All England Club was a far more straightforward affair for the 25-year-old world number four who was in dazzling form on the day.
With a packed out centre court cheering him on Murray got off to a blistering start against the world number one and soon locked down the first set 6-2.
The Scott carried his all-conquering momentum into the second and only dropped one game en route to a two sets to love lead.
Federer put up more of a fight in the third set of the best of five finale but the writing was already on the wall.
In less than two hours the on-form Murray put his Wimbledon heartache behind him by becoming Olympic champion – the first British player to do so since Josiah Ritchie in the London Games of 1908. Final score 6-2, 6-1 ,6-4.
MURRAY’S MIXED FORTUNES
Murray was back on court an hour later when he teamed up with Laura Robson in the mixed doubles final against Belarussian duo Victoria Azarenka – the world number one – and Max Mirnyi.
With Murray full of confidence and 18-year-old Robson appearing to soak up some of it for herself the home team broke their opponents in the first game, went three love up soon after and then comfortably saw out the first set 6-2.
The second set was a much stiffer test for the British pair and followed serve until the fourth game when Azarenka and Mirnyi broke Robson to go 3-1 up.
Mirnyi held serve in the fifth before the Belarusians safely held on to deservedly win the second set 6-3 and send the match to a champions tiebreak – a first-to-ten-points contest instead of a deciding third set.
Belarus were soon 3-0 to the good after Robson double-faulted on the opening point – but the British duo won both points on Murray’s next serve to get themselves back in the tie.
The momentum continued to change hands as the two teams got closer to gold, but the Belarusians proved too strong in the closing moments and closed out the match 10-8 for the mixed doubles gold leaving Murray and Robson to collect silver.
Mixed doubles was making its return to the Olympics as a medal event for the first time since 1924.
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE
At the Olympic stadium Bolt sent the crowd wild when he retained his 100 metres title with a new Olympic record time.
Bolt came into his own in the final 60 metres to cross the line first in a lightning quick 9.63 seconds.
His compatriot, training partner and world champion Yohan Blake took silver for a Jamaican one-two while American Justin Gatlin rounded off the podium with bronze.
Bolt won a golden treble with three astonishing world records at the last Olympics in Beijing. But since then he has lost his world title and leading up to the games lost his aura of invincibility after being beaten twice by Blake.
But in London and with the world watching, Bolt restored order in style.
With American Tyson Gay, Gatlin, Bolt and Asafa Powell it was the first time ever the four fastest men of all time were in the Olympic final. And it didn’t disappoint.
Bolt’s time was the second fastest ever. Blake took silver in 9.75 seconds and 2004 champion Gatlin crossed over in 9.79 as the first seven sprinters all broke the 10 second mark. It wasn’t smiles for the Jamaican competitors after Powell pulled up injured.
Bolt will now bid to complete an unprecedented double-double by also retaining his 200 metres title and will seek a sixth sprint gold in the 4×100metres relay.
RICHARDS WINS 400M
American Sanya Richards Ross won her third career Olympic gold when she held off the chasing pack to win the women’s 400 metres title.
Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu – the defending Olympic champion – thrilled the 80,000 spectators in the stadium when she came from seventh to second and the silver medal in the final 50 metres. Deedee Trotter of the US won bronze.
SAILING GOLD FOR GB’S AINSLIE
After winning six gold medals on day eight Team GB saw a few more medals added from Weymouth.
Ben Ainslie became the most successful sailor in Olympic history after the 35-year-old won a fourth consecutive gold when he triumphed on home waters in the single-handed Finn class.
With four gold medals and a silver in successive Games Ainslie overtook Denmark’s legendary Paul Elvstrom as the Games’ most decorated sailor.
Heading into the final medal race in Weymouth, where points were worth double, Ainslie was trailing Danish opponent Jonas Hogh Christensen by two points.
Despite suffering a difficult start the home favourite rounded the top mark of the three lap race in fifth place, at that point good enough for the gold as his Danish rival was 17 seconds behind in ninth.
In an intense finish to the race, where the sailors were in a tight tussle for the places, Ainslie eventually crossed the line in ninth.
It proved to be enough for the Macclesfield-born sailor as Hogh-Christensen came home tenth and two points further behind in the medal race that was won by Frenchman Jonathan Lobert, who claimed the Bronze.
SWANSONG FOR AINSLIE?
After the race Ainslie hinted at retirement – if so there could be no better place to bow out of Olympic competition than on home waters.
Having won the European Championships and finished third in the Laser World Championships a 19-year-old Ainslie picked up his first Olympic medal, a silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
His first gold came four years later in Sydney when he held off the challenge of Brazil’s Robert Scheidt to win the Laser title.
His second Olympic gold came in Athens in the Finn class. He repeated the Olympic feat at the Beijing Games – a year he was named British Yachtsmen of the Year for a fifth time, World Sailor of the Year again and made CBE.
His fourth gold on home waters on Sunday made him the most successful sailor in Olympic history.
Britain’s silver medal tally increased also when Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson came second in the men’s sailing Star competition.
Two GB medals came from the Gymnastics when Louis Smith and Max Whitlock – two members of the men’s bronze medal winning team from last week, claimed silver and bronze respectively in the men’s pommel horse discipline won by Double world champion Krisztian Berki of Hungary.
Ed Clancy added a bronze to his gold won in the team pursuit on Friday when the 27-year-old came third in the men’s track cycling omnium event.
Omnium was making its Olympic debut and consists of six events contested over two days. Clancy was fifth heading into the final 1 kilometre time trial discipline, but he bombed round the track to win the race and jump up to the bronze medal position.
Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen took gold while Bryan Coquard of France won silver.
Serena and Venus Williams became the first tennis players to win four gold medals each after the American sisters won the Olympic women’s doubles title for the third time.
The pair, who have also both won the singles title with Serena winning her first singles gold on Saturday, took an hour and a half to beat Czech duo Andrea Hlavachkova and Lucie Hradechka in straight sets. They retained their title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
The Chinese contingency remain on track to complete a clean sweep of the diving gold medals after Wu Minxia performed a polished series of dives to win the three-metre springboard title.
China, won all 10 gold medals on offer at last year’s world championships in Shanghai, are on track to win all eight Olympic titles in London, with five out of five seemingly effortless golds at the diving pool so far.
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