We have already passed the half way stage of the London 2012 Olympic Games. It’s been a wonderful Games, but who have been the top 5 stars of the Games so far?
Missy Franklin has been one of the many stars to shine in the swimming pool. She has won 4 golds and a bronze at these Games setting two world records along the way in the 4x100m medley relay and the 200m backstroke. At just 17 years old, we are sure to see her again at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The last few months had already been superb for Bradley Wiggins as he won the Tour de France, becoming the first Briton ever to win cycling’s most famous road race; winning both time trials along the way. In the individual time trial last Wednesday, Wiggins continued his fine time trialling form of 2012. He did not just snatch the gold medal by a tiny margin but crushed the opposition, winning by 42 seconds over German world time trial champion Tony Martin.
The “poster girl” of the London 2012 Olympics had all the pressure that comes with this unofficial title. She’d been beaten at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, but home advantage seemed certain to carry her through to gold. Hope was not misplaced as golden girl Jessica set personal best after personal best in her events, catapulting her to the gold medal. On that glorious last Saturday night of 3 track and field gold medals for Team GB, it was fitting that Ennis landed the first of them.
Ainslie’s previous Olympic record meant that you could almost have written his name on Britain’s gold medal list with a permanent marker; so consistently brilliant had he been in the last 3 Olympics. But this time he appeared to be struggling. Going into the final race, he needed to finish ahead of Jonas Hogh-Christensen, the Dane who had had the better of him all week. Although he finished only 9th in the medal race, this was enough for Ainslie to secure his 4th Olympic gold in a row, and make him the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.
The 100m final was once again the Usain Bolt show. Despite the race being billed as a contest between Bolt and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, it turned out to be another master class from world record holder Bolt, winning in a new Olympic record of 9.63 seconds. Bolt once again offered us sporting excellence at his finest. He demonstrated a glimpse of possible fallibility when he was disqualified in the World Championships last year, and when he was beaten by Blake in the Jamaican Olympic trials. But when it mattered in the most important 100m race, he simply powered through leaving the others trailing in the wake of his brilliance to celebrate as only he can.