THERE WE HAVE IT.
It is all purely subjective but most everybody can agree that London 2012 has been a spectacular success.
Every four years the games throw up a raft of amazing stories, heartbreaking tales and images of highly trained athletes falling flat on their faces/bums. The London Olympics were no different.
Over to you Rio, but not before a clatter of fireworks and some miming and dancing from the Spice Girls.
Headline of the day
Good Night and Good Luck!
There were Union Jacks fluttering like crazy at Olympic Stadium as London held a street party, invoked the bulldog spirit of Winston Churchill, sang along to Madness and The Kinks, and paid tribute to Only Fools and Horses. The millionaire footballers of Chelsea and Manchester City were even booted up the road to Birmingham to play the Community Shield as London 2012 waved a glittering goodbye to the world.
Yes, that IS One Direction. (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.)
What we learned today?
- The basketball stars of the USA justified the ‘Dream Team’ tag
The American team, and James Harden’s beard, defeated Spain to win Gold in the Men’s Basketball Final. Kevin Durant was the star of the show are he chipped in with 30 points in a closely-fought 107-100 win. The Spanish led 59-58 going into the break but Durant and Chris Paul got motoring to get the USA over the line. It was a fitting farewell to Kobe Bryant, who was competing in his last Olympics.
- Great Britain will need some effort at Rio 2016 to surpass their huge medal haul
The goal, before the games, for Great Britain was 48 medals (one better than Beijing 2008). One suspects that the real plan was to claim more than that but nobody could have surely imagined that Team GB, despite the bungling efforts of Stuart Pearce, would finish up with 65 medals (29 Gold). The United States top the table and China were second but Great Britain can be proud of its athletes. The bar has been set ludicrously high but sports stars love a challenge.
- The French proved that they were worth the handball hype
There was almost as much pressure on the male handball players of France to win gold as there was for the USA to storm the basketball. The reigning world champions managed to retain their Olympic title after a nervy 22-21 win over Sweden. “It is something I will never forget for the rest of my life,” said French coach Claude Onesta, who can rest easy upon his return home. Russia made history in the Men’s Volleyball Final when they came back from two sets down against Brazil to win Gold.
Highlights from Team Ireland
Mark Kenneally in action during the Men’s Marathon Final. (©INPHO/Morgan Treacy)
- Mark Kenneally finishes 57th in the men’s marathon with a time of 2:21:13.
- Natalya Coyle earns ninth place overall in the women’s modern pentathlon.
Lost In Translation
“This is a James Bond sport, it’s true.” – Joel Bouzou, head of the international pentathlon federation, has a new tagline for his favourite sport.
Tweet of the day
Natalya Coyle is pretty chuffed with her ninth place finish in the Women’s Modern Pentathlon.
Best thing we’ve read today
Australians may not have hoovered up the medals at this Olympic Games but they have kept us entertained with their ‘Naughty Korea, Nice Korea’ medal tables, ‘Ireland should join Great Britain’ commentaries and everything Ian Thorpe has said and worn. Here is how The Age summed up the games.
A new friend we made today
Stephen Kiprotich got Uganda on the medal table and just in time too. The 23-year-old burst past Kenya marathon mainstays Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang with two kilometres to go and raced clear to win Gold. Kiprotich actually moved to Kenya as a teenager to train with some of the finest runners in the world. Thanks for the leg up Kenya!
You said what?
Hopefully I made everyone in Ireland proud as well, seeing out the games with a bang.
- Irish pentathlete Natalya Coyle after her ninth place finish today.
I have watched the film ’300′ relentlessly because they never give up.
- British boxer Anthony Joshua reveals the motivating factor that drove him to boxing gold.
We will be back in Rio.
- The clarion call of so many athletes and Olympians but this particular comment was made by Italy’s Maurizio Felugo after his side were beaten by Croatia in the Men’s Water Polo Final.
… and here is who is keeping Ireland company:
(Table correct as of 8.30pm on Sunday, 12 August)