Super Saturday for Ennis, Farah and Rutherford
The midpoint of the Olympics was known as "super Saturday". For the British team it lived up to its billing. The host nation claimed six gold medals throughout the day, with the most astonishing results coming in the Olympic stadium, where three golds were won on the track inside an hour.
Jessica Ennis, the poster girl for these Games, fulfilled her potential in superlative style. In the final event of the heptathlon, the 800 metres, she sprinted down the back straight to outstrip her rivals, and raised her arms aloft in triumph, greeted by the tumultuous acclaim of a packed stadium.
A little later Mo Farah, world champion at 5,000 metres, took the 10,000 metres with a confident final lap surge, leaving the Kenyans and Ethiopians in his wake this time. He too felt the wave of appreciation from the London crowd. "I was in shock, in tears, the whole lot," Farah said. "I didn't know what was going on. This is the greatest day of my life, it doesn't get any better than that."
In between, Greg Rutherford, regarded as an outside medal hope at best before the competition, took the long jump gold with confident and consistent jumping. His winning distance was modest, but this was all about rising to the occasion in an Olympic final.
It was British athletics’ most successful night at an Olympic Games. Inevitably it overshadowed two superb golds in the rowing that morning, and another gold and world record in the women’s team pursuit in the velodrome.