The 2012 London Olympics gave us amazing highlights

Australia's gold medal winners in the women's 100m freestyle relay, Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt all made a big impact at the London Olympics.
Australia's gold medal winners in the women's 100m freestyle relay, Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt all made a big impact at the London Olympics.

Usain Bolt's historic double double

It was quite simply breathtaking.

Despite injury scares before the Games and the threat of Jamaican rival Yohan Blake, Bolt moved to legendary status by becoming the first man to secure the Olympic 100m and 200m sprint double in consecutive games.

The Jamaican superstar crossed the line in an Olympic record of 9.63sec to become the first man to defend an Olympic sprint title since Carl Lewis in 1988. He then went and did it again in the 200m.

The fastest man on the planet defended his title in typically incredible fashion, narrowly missing his own Olympic record in clocking 19.32sec.

It was a Jamaican trifecta, with training partner Blake second and Warren Weir third.

Bolt made it three golds in London when he anchored the 4x100m Jamaican relay team to glory in a world record time of 36.84sec.


Michael Phelps adds six more to medal tally

If he wasn't already the greatest Olympian ever, the man called Superfish confirmed the accolade was correct with another six medals in the London pool, including three golds.

This took his overall Olympic medal tally to 22 from three Games, 18 of those gold.

There were scares in and out of the pool.

Compatriot Ryan Lochte had threatened to overshadow Phelps, and South African Chad Le Clos upset him to take gold in the 100m butterfly, before officials threatened to take his medals after pictures were leaked of Phelps advertising Louis Vuitton bags in violation of Rule 40.

It states that no athlete can participate in non-Olympic marketing campaigns during the Games.

Phelps, of course, kept the medals.


Australia's golden girls take relay

Most Olympic fans in Australia had expected a gold rush in the pool, but there was only one to celebrate and that came on the first day of competition.

The all-Queensland team of Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger took out the 4x100m freestyle relay in style and celebrated in the same fashion.

The relay team also became the first Australian athletes to feature on Australia Post's gold medallist stamps for London 2012.

Led off by Coutts, Australia was third after the first change before Campbell moved up to second.

Teenager Elmslie put Australia in front before Schlanger hung on to beat the Netherlands, with the US third.


Oscar Pistorius makes Olympic history

The South African known as Blade Runner became the first double amputee to compete in the able-bodied Olympics when he took part in the 400m.

He did not let himself down either, reaching the semi-finals.

He finished last in the semi but was part of one of the moments of the Games when Grenada's Kirani James, who went on to win the gold medal, swapped bibs with Pistorius after the race.

Pistorius, who fought for a long time to actually compete at the Games, also was a member of the South African 4x400m relay team.


Sally Pearson wins gold

If Usain Bolt was the biggest favourite of the Games, then Australian Sally Pearson was not far behind.

She had been the best hurdler all year and it seemed all she had to do was have a clear run.

She did that but even she did not know she had won when she crossed the line, mouthing to her coach, "Is it me?"

For what seemed like an eternity, Pearson waited - as did the rest of Australia - with bated breath before realising her Olympic dream, in a time of 12.34sec.

Dawn Harper, who had edged Pearson out in Beijing four years earlier, was sitting at her shoulder.

This time two hundredths of a second separated them.


Aussies rule the waves

They say Britannia rules the waves, but with everyone expecting the Poms to do well at Weymouth, the Aussies took centre stage with three gold medals.

Tom Slingsby won the Laser class in commanding fashion, and Malcolm Page and Mathew Belcher disappointed the home crowd by beating the Brits into second in the 470s.

The third gold went to Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen in the 49er skiff class.

There was also silver for Nina Curtis, Olivia Price and Lucinda Whitty in the Elliott match-racing class.


Anna Meares defeats "Queen" Victoria

The rivalry between home favourite Victoria Pendleton and Aussie star Anna Meares was one of the Games' highlights.

Having lost the gold to Pendleton in the keirin days earlier, Meares needed to change tactics in the sprint and did just that to beat her rival 2-0 and take gold.

There were plenty of tears.

Meares also won a bronze medal with Kaarle McCulloch in the team sprint.


Kenyan star on track

A highlight in the Olympic stadium was the men's 800m final, where Kenya's David Rudisha broke his own world record to win in 1min 40.91sec.

All eight finalists set a season's best, personal best or national record.


Archer claims record

South Korean Im Dong Hyun might not have won gold, but he won the hearts of fans by breaking his own world record with a score of 699 out of a possible 700 in a preliminary round.

Remarkably, he has severe myopia and is registered as blind.


Britain's Super golden Saturday

Day eight of the London Games produced six gold medals for Great Britain - the host's best day.

First came a win for the coxless four in rowing, followed by another gold on the water at Eton Dorney, then a win at the velodrome for the women's team pursuit team.

Britain's golden girl Jessica Ennis then claimed heptathlon victory before Greg Rutherford leapt to long jump gold.

Mo Farah, rounded off the day in style with Britain's first ever gold in the 10,000m.


Topics:  australia olympic games sport

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