Seen & heard at the London Olympics

2012-08-05T00:00:00Z Seen & heard at the London OlympicsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
August 05, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Jolly good show, Britain

In one unforgettable night for a nation, the Olympic Games and host Britain were the best they can be.

Three British athletes - Jessica Ennis (heptathlon), Greg Rutherford (men's high jump) and Mo Farah (men's 10,000 meters) - each won gold in Olympic Stadium in a delirious 44-minute spell that produced the signature moment of the London Games.

"I'm worried I'm going to wake up in a minute and this ain't going to be real," Rutherford said.

Counting two golds from the rowers and another from women's track cycling on Saturday, Britain's total for the day was six. For the games, its haul so far is 14 golds, seven silver and eight bronze, for a total of 29. Only China, with 53 medals, and the U.S., the leader with 54, have more.

"Team GB's gluttonous desire for gold shows no sign of being sated," said London mayor Boris Johnson. "Their extraordinary efforts have brought rapture to streets, parks and living rooms in London and all over the country, if not the planet."

'Blade Runner' advances

Hours before the British invasion, the stadium belonged to Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner" from South Africa who made history simply by lining up in the men's 400, the first amputee to compete in Olympic track.

Pistorius, who runs on carbon-fiber blades, booked a return date into today's semifinals after finishing second in his heat in 45.44.

"I've worked for six years ... to get my chance," Pistorius said. "I found myself smiling in the starting block. Which is very rare in the 400 meters."

By the numbers

1920

Before Serena Williams' 6-0, 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova on Saturday, the most one-sided previous women's final was in 1920, when Suzanne Lenglen of France beat Dorothy Holman of Britain 6-3, 6-0.

Gates a beach volleyball junkie

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates watched beach volleyball on Saturday night and saw Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor eliminate the Netherlands before the bells in Big Ben's clock tower could toll the half-hour.

"That is the Kerri and Misty people come to see," May-Treanor said after advancing to the Olympic quarterfinals with a 21-13, 21-12 victory in 30 minutes over Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer.

Gates and his wife, Melinda, also attended beach volleyball in Sydney and Beijing.

Quotable

"I'm sure he's going to be around, but not in the pool where we like him best."

- Matt Grevers, who trains in Tucson, about Michael Phelps' retirement. Grevers and Phelps helped the U.S. men's 4x100 medley relay team win gold on Saturday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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