Following the delightful London 2012 Olympic Games, here are some memorable performances and links to articles I have collected.
If I had to pick a single event as most memorable, it would be the men’s 800m final. It was the first time all eight runners went under 1:44 and all but one runner set a personal best time (that one runner set a season best). As well as a world record for David Rudisha, silver medallist Nigel Amos won Botswana’s first ever Olympic medal and both he and bronze medallist Timothy Kitum are aged 18 and 17 respectively! The future looks bright in this event! Some excellent analysis of the event is at the Science of Sport blog here.
|1||David Rudisha||Kenya||1:40.91||WR, OR, NR|
|2||Nigel Amos||Botswana||1:41.71||WJR, NR|
|4||Duane Solomon||United States||1:42.82||PB|
|5||Nick Symmonds||United States||1:43.05||PB|
|8||Andrew Osagie||Great Britain||1:43.87||PB|
(NR = national record, WJR = world junior record, table from here)
The 200m splits were: 23.5s, 25.8 (49.28), 25.0 (1:14.3), 26.6 (more details here)
The US women’s 4x100m relay team smashed the old world record by 0.55 seconds, a record that was set by the German Democratic Republic in 1985! The 100m splits for the four runners were as follows.
- Madison 11.12
- Felix 9.97
- Knight 10.33
- Jeter 9.70
Jeter may have set the fastest relay split ever if this list is anything to go by. Her PB of 10.64 in the 100m is second behind Florence Griffith-Joyner.
Incidentally here are the corresponding splits for the winning Jamaica men’s 4×100 relay (from here):
- Carter 10.28
- Frater 9.07
- Blake 9.09
- Bolt 8.70
Bolt may have equalled the fastest ever relay split by Asafa Powell at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Here is a list of track and field athletes who have secured a second gold medal in the same individual event.
- Usain Bolt in the men’s 100m and 200m (the first to repeat in both events). There’s some good information about his splits for the 100m here.
- Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya) in the 3000m steeplechase (previous gold in 2004)
- Felix Sanchez (Cuba) in the men’s 400m hurdles (previous gold in 2004)
- Tomasz Majewski (Poland) in the men’s shot put
- Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (Jamaica) in the women’s 100m
- Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) in the women’s 5000m (previous gold in 2004)
- Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) in the women’s 10000m
- Barbora Spotakova (Czech Republic) in the women’s javelin throw
- Valerie Adams (New Zealand) in the women’s shot put
In other sports:
- Michael Phelps (USA) became the first male swimmer to win three consecutive individual gold medals and did so twice (100m butterfly, 200m individual medley). For these games he won four gold medals and two silver medals (his first silvers in Olympic competition!) to end a most remarkable career with 18 gold medals, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes in Olympic competition.
- Ben Ainslie (GB) became the first person to win medals in sailing at five Olympic Games, and the second (after Paul Elvstrøm) to win four gold medals. He got his third consecutive gold medal in the Finn class.
- Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho (both from Japan) each won their third consecutive gold medal in freestyle wrestling (55kg and 63kg weight classes respectively).
- Valentina Vezzali (Italy) won her sixth gold medal in foil fencing (three individual, three team).
- Tony Estanguet (France) won his third consecutive gold medal in the C-1 canoe class (slalom). He is the first Frenchman to achieve three gold medals in the same event.
- Also winning their third gold medal on the trot were the Williams sisters in women’s doubles tennis and Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in women’s beach volleyball. Serena Williams also won gold in the singles, losing just 17 games in 6 matches and winning against two of the top three seeds with scorelines of 6-1 6-2 (semi-final vs Azarenka) and 6-0 6-1 (final vs Sharapova).
- Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy (GB) picked up two gold medals (Team sprint, Kieren) to become the most successful British Olympian with six gold medals in total.
- Zou Kai (China) picked up two gold medals in men’s gymnastics (floor exercise, team) to hold the record for the most gold medals by any Chinese olympian.
- Wu Minxia (China) became the first female diver to win three consecutive gold medals (synchronised diving). She also won the 3m springboard competition.
- Anastasia Davydova (Russia) won her fifth gold medal in synchronised swimming after winning the team competition for the third time.
There were 32 world records set including 8 in swimming. The youngest two record-setters were Ye Shiwen (China) in the 400m individual medley and Missy Franklin (USA) in the 200m backstroke. The latter ended up with 5 medals, including four gold. A list of other records is at the Guiness World Records site here.
There were some memorable performances by the host country too – Great Britain won a most impressive 29 gold medals (they won only 1 gold in Atlanta in 1996!) including popular wins by Bradley Wiggins (cycling time trial following his Tour de France win), Jessica Ennis (heptathlon), Mo Farrah (5k, 10k) and Andy Murray (in tennis, defeating the top two players along the way).
Finally, some infographics related to the Olympics can be found via Pinterest here. The Guardian also ran an interesting series on the data of the games here and the New York Times has a most interesting graphics collection here.