BASKETBALL: As the curtain fell on London 2012, the USA overcame some fierce resistance from Spain to land their fifth Basketball gold in the six Olympic Games since the start of the ‘Dream Team’ era on a gripping final day of action.
It was the closest Basketball final since the USSR beat the USA 51-50, 40 years ago.
Kevin Durant scored 30 points to lead the USA, while LeBron James had 19 and Kobe Bryant 17 as the USA ran out 107-100 winners in front of the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Boris Johnson, David Beckham and Henry Kissinger.Russia snatched the bronze away from Argentina as they triumphed 81-77 in the dramatic final seconds of the third-place play-off.
MARATHON: Earlier, Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich stunned the Kenyan challenge to clinch a surprise gold medal in the Marathon on The Mall.
The 23-year-old burst past Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang around the 38km mark to leave his two rivals trailing and claim only Uganda’s second-ever Olympic gold in Athletics.
Kiprotich followed in the footsteps of his compatriot John Akii-Bua, who was 400m Hurdles champion 40 years ago, and crossed the line in 2:08:01.Kirui took the silver, 26 seconds adrift, and long-time leader Kipsang finished with the bronze.
VOLLEYBALL: Russia became the first team in the history of men’s Olympic Volleyball to win the final from two sets down as they stunned Brazil at Earls Court.
For the best part of three sets the Europeans looked a shadow of the side that had demolished Bulgaria in the semis and Brazil picked points at will to lead 2-0 and 22-19.
But Russia then embarked on one of the most staggering comebacks the sport has seen to win 19-25 20-25 29-27 25-22 15-9 and wrap up a fourth Olympic title.HANDBALL: France also created history in the men’s Handball after becoming the first country to retain the Olympic title following a nervy 22-21 victory against Sweden.
France, who won gold at Beijing 2008 and are also reigning world champions, survived a late Scandinavian comeback to seal their place as the greatest team of all time.
Croatia secured their first men’s Water Polo Olympic gold medal with an 8-6 victory over Italy.
The Balkan outfit have been the outstanding side of the London 2012 tournament, with eight wins from eight matches, and end it as worthy champions.
BOXING: Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko won his second Boxing title after outclassing Soonchul Han in the men’s Light Weight final at the ExCeL.The champion from the now-defunct Feather Weight division, regarded by some as the world’s best amateur, romped to a 19-9 victory over his Republic of Korea opponent.
Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana was earlier crowned Fly Weight champion after beating Tugstsogt Nyambayar.
Carrazana, 18, won by a score of 17-14 over his older Mongolian opponent in what was an exciting contest.
Kazakhstan’s Serik Sapiyev claimed the Welter Weight crown with a 17-9 win over home favourite Fred Evans.
Russia’s Egor Mekhontcev took Light Heavy Weight gold after the tightest contest possible against Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov.
The bout was scored 15-15 and the fighters could not even be separated by countback, with Mekhontcev winning courtesy of the judges’ individual preference.
The final bout of the Olympic Boxing competition had those in the ExCeL on their feet as Britain’s Anthony Joshua survived an Italian appeal to beat defending Super Heavy Weight champion Roberto Cammarelle on countback.
WRESTLING: Japan won their first male Wrestling gold in 24 years as Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu defeated India’s Sushil Kumar in the final of the 66kg Freestyle.
Kumar, a railway worker from Delhi, was looking to become India’s first-ever Olympic champion wrestler, but Yonemitsu overcame him 1-0 3-1 to record a historic win for Japan at the ExCeL.
Jake Varner of the United States took the 96kg men’s Freestyle title.GYMNASTICS: Russia won their fourth consecutive gold in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Group competition after two stunning performances in the final at Wembley Arena.
The final piece of Gymnastics action at London 2012 did not disappoint, with Russia scoring 28.700 in their five balls routine before 28.300 with the ribbons and hoops earned them a total of 57.000 to retain their title. Belarus (55.500) won silver ahead of Italy (55.450) in bronze.
PENTATHLON: The final gold medal of the London 2012 Games went to Lithuania courtesy of Laura Asadauskaite in the Modern Pentathlon. Britain’s Samantha Murray finished second ahead of Brazil’s Yane Marques.With the sport complete, attention then turned to the spectacular Closing Ceremony, as the world bid farewell to London 2012 – a truly memorable Olympic Games.
Kim Gavin, Artistic Director of the Olympic Closing Ceremony, brought together Britain’s biggest international stars and emerging talent to perform in an event that celebrated the achievements of the world’s greatest athletes during the London 2012 Olympic Games.The Ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium paid tribute to UK music, fashion and culture.
British artists who performed in the Closing Ceremony included The Who, The Spice Girls, Take That, Tinie Tempah, George Michael, Fatboy Slim, Madness, Jessie J, Annie Lennox, Kaiser Chiefs, Taio Cruz, Beady Eye with lead vocalist Liam Gallagher, Ray Davies, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, Muse, Elbow, Emeli Sandé, Eric Idle, Julian Lloyd Webber, Ed Sheeran, Richard Jones, Mike Rutherford and Nick Mason.
Singers Jessie J, Taio Cruz and Tinie Tempah emerged from three limousines to sing their numbers. The Spice Girls entered the Stadium in five black cabs for renditions of ‘Spice Up Your Life’ and ‘Wannabe’, and Russell Brand performed ‘Pure Imagination’ and ‘I Am the Walrus’ atop a psychedelic bus.
Eric Idle led a singalong of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, from the film Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’, the Kaiser Chiefs covered The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ and The Who led a triumphant rendition of ‘My Generation’ to close the show.
Eric Idle said: ‘I’m delighted to be an Olympian, and proud to have been chosen to represent my country at Show Business. I’m hoping for a brass medal.’
A tribute to British fashion was soundtracked to songs by David Bowie and featured appearances from supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Lily Donaldson, Stella Tennant, Karen Elson, Lily Cole, Georgia May Jagger, Jourdan Dunn and David Gandy.
Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: ‘Kim Gavin has delivered a fitting celebration of the athletes, the volunteers, this City and the whole country, who have helped us stage a great Olympic Games.
‘We have shown the best of us throughout these Games and provided the platform for the world’s greatest athletes to shine. I would like to pay tribute to the volunteers, the performers and the country for making Games so memorable for the athletes and sports fans of the world.’
Artistic Director Kim Gavin said: ‘I was lucky because Seb Coe basically just asked me to put on a party, a celebration of London and the UK. To me the sport was always the main event, and I wanted to create a great after show party for the athletes, the volunteers, the spectators and people watching around the world. My approach, just like any party, was to start with the music. We wanted the Ceremony to reflect on UK music and how good and global British music is.’
A volunteer cast of 3,500 rehearsed on average for 60 hours each in a total of 135 rehearsals during evenings and weekends at two east London rehearsal sites. Some 350 child volunteers were drawn from 10 schools in the six east London Host Boroughs.FINAL MEDAL TABLE.
1. USA 46G 29S 29B.
2. China 38G 27S 22B.
3. Great Britain 29G 17S 19B.
4. Russia 24G 25S 33B
5. Korea 13G 8S 7B