ATHLETICS: Day 15 saw the curtain fall on the track and field action at London 2012, and once again it was Usain Bolt who stole the headlines on a day when 32 gold medals were won.
Bolt brought the action at the Olympic Stadium to a fitting close, as he anchored the Jamaican 4 x 100m Relay team to gold in a new world record.
He was only level with the USA’s Ryan Bailey when he took the baton after the first three legs run by Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake, but stormed down the home straight to stop the clock at 36.84, taking 0.2 seconds off their previous record.
The USA claimed silver and Trinidad and Tobago the bronze.
Watch the Race here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwLDpcye-VM&feature=plcp
Britain’s Mo Farah was also celebrating on an amazing night, having earlier joined an elite list of athletes to complete the Olympic long-distance double by backing up his 10,000m title with the 5000m crown.Russia’s Mariya Savinova produced a perfectly-timed race to claim gold in the women’s 800m, beating former world champion Caster Semenya by more than a second, while Trinidad and Tobago’s Keshorn Walcott was the winner of the men’s Javelin Throw and Russia’s Anna Chicherova claimed High Jump gold.
The most emphatic win of the night came in the women’s 4 x 400m Relay as the USA stormed to gold, with the quartet of DeeDee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross leading from start to finish to beat Russia by almost three-and-a-half seconds. Jamaica claimed the bronze medal.
FOOTBALL: Mexico secured arguably the greatest triumph in their history by winning London 2012 gold at Wembley with a 2-1 success over Brazil.
Mexico Football team
Oribe Peralta wrote his name into Mexican folklore with a deadly double against the five-time world champions, who many believed were destined finally to end their agonising wait for Olympic Games glory.Despite Hulk pulling a goal back in stoppage time and Chelsea new boy Oscar missing a last-gasp chance, Brazil were a shadow of the attacking force that had smashed in 15 goals en route to the final.
The game promised to be a goal-fest, with Brazil having scored three times in all five of their matches and their opponents netting seven in their last two.
But few would have predicted the fastest goal ever in a FIFA tournament final after just 28 seconds.
Manchester United right-back Rafael’s pass was intercepted by Javier Aquino and the ball broke for Peralta to race goal-ward unchallenged and fire home.
It was not the first time Brazil had been behind at London 2012 and they might have levelled in the 13th minute when Thiago Silva headed Neymar’s free-kick over.
Oscar also should have done better than find Jose Corona when he was allowed to turn and shoot eight yards out.
Brazil’s sloppiness continued as they found it hard to penetrate a fiercely-committed opposition and made poor decisions when they did.
They made an attacking change just past the half-hour mark when midfielder Alex Sandro was withdrawn for Porto team-mate Hulk.
And the substitute almost caught out Corona with a piledriver from nearly 35 yards but the goalkeeper recovered well to foil Leandro Damiao’s rebound. Marcelo should have tested him again when he flashed wide from Damiao’s lay-off.
Hulk was making a real impact, winning a free-kick that Romulo ultimately glanced wide in first-half stoppage time.
The urgency Brazil had been lacking arrived straight from the restart and Neymar was so close to sending a screamer into the top corner.
Mexico’s response to the threat was to send on Miguel Ponce for Aquino.
Santos star Neymar skied a good chance when the ball fell to him 10 yards out but Mexico weathered the storm and were unlucky not to double their lead in the 64th minute after another defensive mistake.
Marco Fabian tackled Thiago Silva and although Gabriel came rushing out, his save set up an overhead kick Fabian smashed against the crossbar.
Leandro Damiao had a good chance nicked off his toe and powered a free header wide from a corner before Peralta rightly had a second goal ruled out for offside.
Fabian almost scored when he nodded over Jorge Enriquez’s flick-on from a corner but made amends 15 minutes from time with a free-kick that Peralta netted with a bullet header.
Brazil should have staged an amazing comeback in stoppage time, Hulk racing on to a long ball from Marcelo and rifling into the net, before crossing for an unmarked Oscar to somehow nod wide from six yards.
KAYAK: At Eton Dorney, New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington stormed to gold in the women’s Kayak Singles (K1) 200m. Making her Olympic debut, Carrington left experienced European kayakers trailing in her wake as she cruised home ahead of Ukrainian Inna Osypenko-Radomska and Hungarian Natasa Douchev-Janics.
Ukrainian Yuri Cheban took gold in the men’s Canoe Single (C1) 200m and the Russian pair of Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko won the men’s Kayak Double (K2) 200m sprint.
The home fans also had something to cheer as Britain’s Ed McKeever powered home to claim the men’s Kayak Single (K1) 200m.
RACE WALK: Russia’s Sergey Kirdyapkin won the 50km Race Walk in an Olympic record time.
The former world champion finished in 3:35.59, almost a minute clear of Australia’s Jared Tallent, who took silver for the second Games in succession, with China’s Si Tianfeng claiming bronze.
The women’s 20km Race walk title went to Russia’s Elena Lashmanova in a new world record time of 1:25.02.
MOUNTAIN BIKING: France claimed a 10th gold medal as Julie Bresset cruised to victory in the women’s Cross-country Mountain Bike at Hadleigh Farm. World Under-23 champion Bresset led from the gun and triumphed in 1:30.52.
GYMNASTICS: Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva became the first rhythmic gymnast to defend an Olympic title after she won gold with a series of breathtaking performances in the Individual All-Round final at Wembley Arena.
Kanaeva was in a class of her own as she scored 116.900 to retain her title, ahead of fellow Russian Daria Dmitrieva (114.500) in silver with Liubou Charkashyna of Belarus (111.700) taking bronze.
SAILING: Tamara Echegoyen-skippered Spain surprised favourites Australia to win gold in the women’s Elliot 6m Match Racing class – the last Sailing medal of London 2012.
Australia twice recovered from going behind in the best-of-five series, but Echegoyen, Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega went on to ensure Spain topped the podium.
VOLLEYBALL: Brazil retained their Olympic Volleyball title courtesy of a fine performance against the USA. In a repeat of the Beijing 2008 showpiece, the South Americans once again got the better of their arch-rivals, seeing them off 3-1.
WRESTLING: Artur Taymazov cemented his place in Freestyle Wrestling history after he beat Davit Modzmanashvili to win his third successive gold in the 120kg class.
Taymazov, who also has a silver from Sydney, defeated the Georgian 1-0 1-0 to become the only wrestler in history to win three gold medals.
HOCKEY: Jan Philipp Rabente was the unlikely hero as he scored twice as Germany successfully defended their Olympic men’s Hockey title with victory over the Netherlands.
TAEKWONDO: Milica Mandic claimed Serbia’s first Taekwondo Olympic gold when she beat Anne-Caroline Graffe of France 9-7 in the women’s + 67kg final.
The men’s +80kg gold was won by Rome policeman Carlo Molfetta on judges’ decision after a classic final against Anthony Obame, whose silver was a first Olympic medal for Gabon.
BOXING: China’s Zou Shiming became the first man to retain the Light Fly Weight Olympic Boxing title, claiming victory in the gold-medal match against Thailand’s Kaeo Pongprayoon.
Great Britain’s Luke Campbell claimed the Bantam Weight title with victory over Ireland’s John Joe Nevin.
Japanese Middle Weight Ryota Murata edged a close final against Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao Florentino 14-13.
Ukrainian top seed Oleksandr Usyk won the prestigious Heavy Weight gold medal with a battling performance.
The reigning world champion showed his quality against Italy’s Clemente Russo, who was looking to improve on the silver medal he won at Beijing 2008.
Russo landed a right hand for the first score of the fight and moved into a 3-1 lead after one round as Usyk failed to fire.
Things changed in the second, however, Usyk initially appearing to land a knockdown with a left hook only for the referee to rule that Russo had stumbled.
There was a big exchange of blows as the second came to an end but Usyk had the better of it and took the round 7-5.
He closed out a 14-11 victory in the final round as Russo, looking to force the win, missed with a series of big hooks only to be caught by his more measured rival.
BASKETBALL: The USA women’s team extended their own record as they won a fifth straight Basketball gold medal by beating France 86-50.
Candace Parker dominated France, scoring 21 points and 11 rebounds, and capitalising on key mistakes as the USA effectively wrapped up victory early in the third quarter.
The four golds the USA had won between 1996 and 2008 were already a record not only in Basketball but in any women’s team sport at the Olympics.
This was their 41st straight victory in Olympic competition, a run that stretches back to the Barcelona 1992 bronze-medal game against Cuba.
Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird all collected their third straight gold medal, and were greeted with a standing ovation from their team-mates when coach Geno Auriemma took them out of the game together inside the final two minutes.
France, playing in only their second Olympics and secure in the knowledge of at least silver, kept pace through the first quarter until the arrival into the game of Florence Lepron, who appeared unsettled, committing three quick turnovers which the USA took back for six points.
That helped to spark an 11-2 run that gave the USA a 22-15 lead early in the second quarter.
France did not go away, as Sandrine Gruda hit a pair of free throws, then stole the ball from Taurasi to add a lay-up.
They had a chance to cut the deficit to two following Celice Dumerc’s steal, but Emilie Gomis missed her lay-up and Gruda could not make either of two follow-ups as France wasted valuable offensive rebounds.
For the USA, Parker was having no such trouble, turning three successive offensive rebounds into six points as they pulled away to lead 37-25 at half-time.
The teams traded blows to start the second half but France were missing chances to close the gap as they struggled at the rim.
After Gruda could only split her free throws, Taurasi made a jump shot and Bird scored a three to make it 50-32.
The game only got worse for France as Endene Miyem limped out late in the third quarter and the USA kept the points coming in the midst of a 19-0 streak.
Parker made it a 20-point game, 52-32, and when Tina Charles split a pair of free throws late in the third quarter the gap hit 30.
Bird finished with 11 points for the USA, while Gruda and Edwige Lawson-Wade led France with 12 apiece.
Earlier, Australia beat Russia 83-74 to claim the bronze medal.
1. USA. 44G 29S 29B
2. China. 38G 37S 22B
3. Great Britain 28G 15S 19B
4. Russia. 21G 25S 32B
5. Korea. 13G 7S 7B