Home hopes delight expectant crowd

Sat, Aug 4, 2012, 01:00

Olymic Athletics:Mo Farah capped an unforgettable night for the hosts as he produced a storming finish to claim gold in the 10,000 metres Olympic final, shortly after Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford secured golds for Britain in the women's heptathlon and men's long jump respectively.

The 29-year-old Farah held his nerve superbly throughout a scrappy race before kicking away from his rivals on the final lap to emerge triumphant in front of an ecstatic crowd inside the Olympic Stadium in London.

Farah's training partner, Galen Rupp of the United States, came through to take silver, with Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia finishing in the bronze medal position.

Ennislived up to her billing as Britain's golden girl with a commanding victory in the heptathlon.

Four years after reluctantly watching the Beijing Games on TV following a career-threatening foot injury, Ennis made light of the weight of expectation on her shoulders to leave her rivals battling for silver and bronze.

Three personal bests in the previous six events meant Ennis went into the final discipline, the 800m, with a commanding 188-point lead that equated to a 13-second advantage over Lithuania's Austra Skujyte.

A run of two minutes 5.69 seconds would have seen her become only the fourth woman in history to score 7,000 points, and even though there was no need for such heroics, the 26-year-old from Sheffield blasted through the opening lap on her way to victory in 2:08.65.

Ennis' time was outside her personal best but still enough for a new overall PB of 6,955 points to improve on the national record of 6,906 she set earlier this year.

Russia's Tatyana Chernova, who took Ennis's world title last year, claimed silver a distant 327 points behind, with Ukraine's Lyudmyla Yosypenko taking bronze a further 10 points back.

"I am so shocked I can't believe it," a teary-eyed Ennis said. "After the javelin I didn't let myself believe it. After all the hard work and disappointment of Beijing, everyone has supported me so much. They said 'go for another four years', and I've done that.

"I'm going to savour the moment. I've had great support although I've been under a huge amount of pressure."

Rutherfordbecame the first British man to jump to gold for nearly 50 years. The Milton Keynes born athlete delighted home crowds with a 8.31 metre jump to take gold in the Olympic Stadium.

His win in the long jump kept the feelgood mood going, coming just minutes after the stadium erupted with noise following Jessica Ennis's heptathlon gold.

The 25-year-old beamed for the cameras as he held the Union Flag aloft and hugged his trainers in the stand.

Other than Ennis, Rutherford was the only British athlete to lead world rankings in his event this year but had largely slipped under the radar.

Britain has not won gold in the men's long jump since Lynn Davies's win in 1964 and the long jump was regarded as one of the most open events in the track and field programme.

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