KATIE TAYLOR: OLYMPIC Champion. Has a nice ring to it, eh?
Unless you’ve been chained to your workstation all day with a Scrooge-like boss sadistically refusing to let you take 10 minutes to soak up Ireland’s greatest moment in 20 years, you’ll already know that the woman on the right, Bray’s Katie Taylor, is the first ever gold medal winner in the Olympic women’s lightweight division.
What an afternoon it was, Enda Kenny had speeches pre-written, the nation stopped working for the guts of half an hour until we all metaphorically emerged from the bear-pit atmosphere of the ExCel Arena to smile in the sunshine.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news for Ireland. Deirdre Ryan hit the Olympic crash mat, bowing out after being unable to clear 1.90 metres in the high jump.
Headline of the day
What more can be said about the Bray boxer? Plenty. After her nail-biting 10-8 win over Russia’s Sofya Ochigava, Taylor said she was : “the most nervous that I’ve ever been going into a fight. It was hard to relax.”
She was the calmest person with half an eye on the fight.
What we learned today
- David Rudisha is a legend
The Kenyan came, he saw, he smashed the 800m world record by sprinting for two laps of the London track. And when he collected his gold medal, Usain Bolt turned away from his post-race interviews to applaud the great man.
Morry Gash/AP/Press Association Images
- Katie Taylor can handle the pressure
The nerves of the nation jangled uncontrollably as Taylor took to the ring. Many celebrated this gold as soon as women’s boxing was a confirmed event for these Games over two years ago. Today she delivered on all that promise in tremendous style.
- Jamaica’s future is golden
Yohan Blake pushed his training partner all the way. Had Bolt shown the slightest weakness gold would belong to the man with the braids. Completing the 1-2-3 was 22-year-old Warren Weir. He’s made himself a big name, but he’ll be a superstar by the time Rio rolls around.
Best thing we’ve read today
She didn’t need to win gold to be recognised by Sports Illustrated, but Katie Taylor did it anyway. The American sports magazine calls her the most popular athlete at the Games. Hard to argue with that one.
Hero of the day
Manteo Mitchell ran the last 200m of the 4x400 heat with a broken leg. The American says he felt the limb pop half way through his lap, but kept on going to help his country qualify. “I figured it’s what almost any person would’ve done in that situation.” He told Associated Press.
A new friend we made today
We’ll call him a frenemy – if our little sister doesn’t cringe too much with embarrassment – Slava Malamud was Russia’s most prominent (english tweeting) journalist at the ExCel Arena. He rubbed many up the wrong way with some fairly confrontational comments about the Irish fans, but we respect his honesty. Too many people like to pat us on the head and say ‘well done, you.’ Malamud is treating us as a rival and TheScore takes that as a compliment.
Oh look. There we are.