London 2012

Best of the Day

Day Eight proved to be Great Britain's finest of the Games so far as the hosts claimed an incredible six gold medals. Some were expected, some were hoped for, but one or two came completely out of the blue. Here's our pick of an incredible day's action...

Last Updated: 05/08/12 8:49am

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Golden Girl

Britain's Jessica Ennis defied the weight of expectation to win the gold medal in the Olympic heptathlon.

Three personal bests in the previous six events meant Ennis went into the final discipline, the 800m, with a commanding 188-point lead that equated to a 13-second advantage over Lithuania's Austra Skujyte.

A run of two minutes 5.69 seconds would have seen Ennis become only the fourth woman in history to score 7,000 points, and even though there was no need for such heroics, the 26-year-old from Sheffield blasted through the opening lap on her way to victory in 2:08.65.

Ennis' time was outside her personal best but still enough for a new overall PB of 6,955 points to improve on the national record of 6,906 she set earlier this year.

"I am so shocked I can't believe it," a tearful Ennis said. "After the javelin I didn't let myself believe it.

"After all the hard work and disappointment of Beijing, everyone has supported me so much. They said 'go for another four years', and I've done that.

"I'm going to savour the moment. I've had great support although I've been under a huge amount of pressure."

Leap of faith

Long jumper Greg Rutherford became the first British man to jump to gold for nearly 50 years.

The Milton Keynes-born athlete delighted home crowds with a 8.31 metre jump to take gold in the Olympic Stadium.

Britain has not won gold in the men's long jump since Lynn Davies's gold in 1964 and the long jump was regarded as one of the most open events in the track and field programme.

Rutherford was still finding it hard to believe he had achieved his life's ambition.

"I don't think I'll ever get bored of hearing that," he said, when reminded he is now an Olympic champion. "That is the most amazing feeling in the world."

Giving a highly emotional interview, Rutherford said: "I have the most amazing parents you could possibly have, a beautiful girlfriend, just everything.

"I can't tell you how much everyone has worked so hard for me, as well as myself. It's been a long process.

"I thought I was going to jump further than that but I don't care - I'm Olympic champion."

Mo hits the heights

Mo Farah capped an unforgettable night for British athletics as he produced a storming finish to claim gold in the 10,000 metres Olympic final.

The 29-year-old held his nerve superbly throughout a scrappy race before kicking away from his rivals on the final lap to emerge triumphant in front of an ecstatic crowd inside the Olympic Stadium in London.

Farah's training partner, Galen Rupp of the United States, came through to take silver, with Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia finishing in the bronze medal position.

World 5,000m champion Farah had thought his race would not come down to the last lap as his rivals feared his sprinting speed, but in the end that was what happened and he hit the front at the bell to time his finish to perfection.

After crossing the line the Somalia-born distance runner collapsed to the track before being greeted by his seven-year-old stepdaughter Rihanna and wife Tania, who is expecting twins in September.

Interviewed after the race, a delighted Farah said: "This is the best moment of my life."

Dream Team

Great Britain's women claimed a stunning team pursuit gold with a sixth consecutive world record at the London Velodrome.

Britain have now won four of the five gold medals on offer after three days of track cycling, with five events to come, after Joanna Rowsell, Dani King and Laura Trott clocked a time of three minutes 14.051 seconds.

Trott said: "It's mad, I actually can't believe it. I feel dead emotional right now. It was my dream - it's been my dream since I was eight and we've just gone and done it."

Rowsell felt the roars of the fans provided extra motivation."I could tell we were winning by the noise of the crowd," she said. "They were just shouting so loud, that just really spurred us on in that last kilometre."

Rowing double

Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland created history by winning Great Britain's first ever gold in the lightweight women's double sculls.

The duo, who were only paired together earlier this year, came through superbly in the second half of the race to win comfortably at Eton Dorney.

Copeland said: "I can't believe this is real, that we just won. We just won the Olympics!

"I've been trying all week not to think about it because it's made me cry every time.

Moments earlier, Great Britain produced a sensational performance to beat Australia and win Olympic gold in the men's coxless fours.

Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory led from the start to extend Britain's dominance over the Olympic event to 16 years.

Britain won their fourth successive coxless fours title by a quarter of a length from the Australians with the United States winning the bronze medal.

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Olympics today - Aug 4

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