Welcome to the 13th day of our live coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games, where we'll keep you right up to date with all the major happenings throughout the day, with the main focus around the athletics. We'll keep it light and informal, and we invite your tweets and Facebook comments throughout the day, so keep them coming. A
couple of points:
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send us comments, and we'll add the best on this page, use the Facebook
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So follow all the action below, and we look forward to your
company over the next two weeks and a bit. Enjoy!
THURSDAY, 9 AUGUST
- Interesting bit of news - with golds from women's waterpolo and football, along with the athletics golds secured tonight, the US has now passed China at the top of the medals table with 39 to 37 gold gongs.
- men's decathlon, and Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee of the US were the top two. Leonel Suarez was third, with SA's Willem Coertzen in ninth.
Quick update after her last throw - SA's Sunette Viljoen will finish fourth in the women's javelin.
- and a few of your tweets after that amazing evening of track action. It doesn't get much better than that, and who would have thought Bolt could be overshadowed in an evening? Gonna have to call him Usurped Bolt tonight...
- if you missed the athletics performance of the Games, no need to worry as we've got it here already for you. Watch David Rudisha run the 800m faster than any man in history.
- confirmation from the triple jump, and it's a US 1-2 with Christian Taylor and Will Claye securing top spot, with the Italian Donato mentioned below winning bronze but celebrating like gold...
And the man who came fifth has the perfect name for walking out of the pit: Leevan Sands of the Bahamas... Nigeria's Tosin Oke (don't get me started...) was 7th.
- Gold for Bolt!!
No world record this time, but still a seriously impressive time of 19.32 enabled him to become the first man to retain his Olympic 200m title and, of course, retain the 100-200 double. It was a Jamaican 1-2-3, with Blake coming second in a super-quick 19.44, and Weir third in 19.84. Bolt, by the way, eased up again over the last 10m, and even had his finger to his lips when he crossed the line. Whatever they're taking in Jamaica, I want some...
SA's Anaso Jobodwana was eighth in 20.69, but what an achievement just reaching the final.
- if you want an example of what any Olympic medal means to an athlete, watch Italian Fabrizio Donato's reaction to his bronze medal in the men's triple jump. Following an aborted final jump, he knelt next to the pit with his arms stretched to the heavens. I guess the fact that he's 35 years old might have something to do with it - not too many Olympics to come...
Right, men's 200m final. Blake lane 4, Bolt 7, Jobodwana in 9.
- second women's 4x100m semi, with Ukraine just edging out Jamaica, but both are safely through to Friday's final, 9:40pm. Joining them were Germany from this heat, along with Brazil and Nigeria as the two fastest losers.
- Goodness, feels like you shouldn't have to carry on after that. How you supposed to follow it? But, the show does go on, so... first heat of the women's 4x100m semis, and an easy win for the Team USA. Also qualifying were T&T and the Netherlands, while Brazil and Nigeria will have to wait on fastest-loser status.
- Kenya's DAVID RUDISHA - 800m World Record!!.
So the man expected to steal some of the spotlight away from Usain Bolt at these Games didn't disappoint as he provided one of the most astonishing performances at an Olympics in living memory, becoming the first man to run under 1:41 with a time of 1:40.91. Simply outstanding, breathtaking.
And they weren't too shabby behind him either, with Botswana's Nijel Amos - who is just 18 years old - winning silver in 1:41.73, and Kenya's Timothy Kitum bronze in 1:42.53. No tactical race there - that was pure balls to the wall!!
And there was a man in sixth place - Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman, that is...
- third semi of the women's 800m, and Russia's Mariya Savinova was a comfortable victor in 1:58.57, with Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba second 0.1 behind. As expected, the two fastest losers were from Heat 2 (Busienei and the US's Montano), so Akkaoui of Morocco and Koech of Kenya were elimanted in this semi.
The big, big talking point though from these semis was the ease with which Semenya ran a 1:57 - it looked like there were a few more gears to go up into whenever she needed. Expect a faster Caster in Saturday's final at 9pm, and some more gender-bender questions from vanquished opponents thereafter...
- second semi of the women's 800m, and Semenya looked almost back to her best as she powered through in the last 250m to win the heat comfortably in 1:57.67 without even breaking a sweat. We've all been wondering if she's just been hiding her form for the Olympics, and this was a pretty good indicator that that could well be the case.
Russia's Elena Arzhakova second in 1:58.13, with Kenya's Busienei third in 1:58.26. That should be good enough to make the final.
- evening's track is under way, and in the first semi of the women's 800m Kenya's Pamela Jelimo goes through as the winner in 1.59:42, with Russia's Ekaterina Poistogova just behind in second. Not too fast, so fastest losers might come from other heats.
Next up - Caster
- couple of hours until the start of tonight's main athletics programme, so here's your rundown on what there is to look forward to - and believe me, it's worth taking some time out of your long weekend in SA to do so....
I'm off to fill my belly with a Weighless Disapproved meal, before returning to watch some of the world's most fat-free athletes in their prime. I know I should feel bad, but it tastes so good....
19:30 - Men's Decathlon Javelin Throw (SA's Willem Coertzen)
20:20 - Men's Triple Jump final (Tosin Oke, Nigeria)
20:30 - Women's 800m semifinals (Semenya, SA; Jelimo, Koech and Busienei, Kenya; Hachlaf, Akkaoui, Morocco))
21:00 - Men's 800m final (Rudisha, Kitum, Kenya; Amos, Botswana; Aman, Ethiopia; Kaki, Sudan)
21:20 - Women's 4x100m relay heats (Nigeria)
21:55 - Men's 200m final (Bolt, Blake, Jamaica; Jobodwana, SA)
22:00 - Women's Javelin Throw final (Sunette Viljoen, SA)
22:20 - Men's Decathlon 1500m
- bit of a shock in the men's hockey semis (and to our leaders playing the SuperPicks game!) as Germany beat the No 1 team in the world Australia 4-2 to advance to the final where they will face either the Netherlands or Great Britain.
- finally I can let you know about the BMX quarters, and I'm afraid that Nhlapo will not be repeating his heroics of Beijing after failing to advance from his quarterfinal group to the semis.
- goodness me, these BMX heats drag on . . . you get three races to try and make it from the quarters to the semis, then if you don't succeed, you get another two races to try again. And that happens across all four quarters! For a sport based on hype, speed and the spectacular, the qualification system leaves a lot to be desired.
Anyway, SA's Sifiso Nhlapo didn't qualify straight from the first three heats into the semis, and it's not looking too good in Last Chance Salon either after finishing fifth in the fourth heat.
- and the news of the 4x400m team being re-instated has got a few of you excited, not least of all Oscar himself...!
- great news from a little earlier, and SA's 4x400m team have been given a spot in tomorrow night's final after Ofentse Mogawane was tripped on the second leg by Kenya's Vincent Kiilu, sending both tumbling to the track. While Kenya finished way behind in last after Mogawane couldn't continue, they were disqualified and SA's appeal was successful. Worked out great, as they were second last at the time anyway!
It does mean too that Oscar Pistorius will have one more chance to go out in a blade of glory....
News from the BMX track, and Sifiso Nhlapo was fifth in the first of three heats in his quarterfinal, then sixth in the second heat. Final heats about to get under way in all four heats.
- still no news on SA and the 4x400m, although I do know that SA have lodged an appeal, and the Kenyans have been disqualified. Might one last chance of seeing Oscar sway the officials?
Next big event the BMX quarterfinals from 4pm, with SA's Sifiso Nhlapo in action. Catch up then.
- Bridgitte has obviously made all of us so proud, so here's a few of your tweets celebrating SA's first bronze of the 2012 Games. Keep them coming with #SSOlympics
- men's 4x400m heats/semis complete, with the Bahamas, US, T&T and GB all safely through. The Jamaicans are out after a runner pulled up injured, and still no news yet on whether SA will protest their tripping.
- a few of your tweets as we look ahead to the day, and no doubting how the smart people of SA are following the Games on TV!! Keep them coming with #SSOlympics
- disaster for SA's 4x400m team, with the SA and Kenyan second-leg runners clashing and eating some tartan. It left Oscar Pistorius stranded on the start line looking back in desperation, unable to make at least one last contribution to London 2012..
It was without doubt the Kenyan's fault, as Vincent Kiilu cut right across SA's Ofentse Mogawane to send them both sprawling. Wonder if SA will be able to lodge a protest, perhaps get Lane 9 in the final? Will let you know, though might be a bit of a stretch as they were second last at the time.
- if you missed Bridgitte's medal this morning, watch the video below to see SA earning their first bronze medal of London 2012..