Britain's greatest Olympic day for 104 years

Great Britain's haul of six golds and a silver on Saturday was the best medal return the nation has enjoyed since 1908.


It was also GB's greatest day of athletics as Mo Farah in the 10,000 metres, Greg Rutherford in the long jump and heptathlete Jessica Ennis delivered an extraordinary hat-trick of Olympic gold medals on a truly unforgettable night.

It was the first time Britain had won three athletics golds in one day and the occasion will live long in the memories of the 80,000 fans who played their own part in creating an atmosphere of spine-tingling intensity and astonishing noise.

On a super Saturday across the board for the host nation, GB's successes started in the lake at Eton Dorney, where the men's coxless four won gold for the fourth Games running.

They were quickly followed by the women's lightweight double sculls, while their male counterparts picked up a silver.

In the velodrome the women's team pursuit broke their own world record en route to gold.

The action then turned to the Olympic Stadium, where a successful day turned into one of the greatest nights in the history of British sport.

The victories took Team GB's total gold count to 14 after eight days of competition.

Farah drained the crowd of every drop of emotion as his perfectly executed 10,000 metres run earned the hugely popular Somalia-born 29-year-old Britain's first Olympic distance gold.

A steadily-run race was exactly what he wanted, though everyone in the stadium was wary of the threat from Kenenisa Bekele, bidding for an unprecedented third 10,000m title.

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Farah was in complete control, however, and stamped his authority on the race at the bell as a remarkable rolling wall of noise brought him home in a time of 27 minutes 30.42 seconds.

Ennis has been the face of the Olympics virtually since London was awarded the Games seven years ago and, having missed the 2008 Games with a foot injury then lost her world title in 2011, the pressure was on to deliver.

She did so in style as an all-time heptathlon best 100m hurdles and further personal bests in the 200 metres and javelin gave her a mammoth lead heading into the final 800 metres.

Needing only a safe finish in the pack Ennis fed off the crowd and roared home to win her heat and secure a crushing overall victory.

Rutherford, who has had a wretched time with hamstrings seemingly forged from tissue paper, came into the Games as the world leader this season but was barely mentioned as gold medal hope.

His 8.21 leap gave him the early initiative that would not be enough for a medal, let alone gold, in most major competitions, but it would have done the job on Saturday. Just to make sure, though, he improved it with a leap of 8.31 and nobody could get close, even though it was still the shortest leap to win gold in 40 years.

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