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Day 8: Here's your gold, where's our marbles?

Great Britain's biggest ever single day of Olympic competition. Five golds, three silvers and two bronzes on Saturday: the men's coxless fours, the Finn class sailing, the men's individual pursuit, and (thanks to a successful appeal) the three-day event all came up winners... and lets not forget, of course, the ynglers. Shirley Robertson, Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton did their country proud with a fine week of yngling, even if they sat out the final race.

Now, if the Greeks had any sense, they would withhold all the British medals until they handed the Elgin Marbles back.

As anticipated yesterday, Michael Phelps claimed his sixth and last gold medal on Saturday night without even jumping in the pool. Phelps swam the butterfly leg of the 4x100 medley relay heat on Friday. The USA replaced the entire quartet for the final, which they won ahead of Germany and Japan. Take a bow, Lenny Krayzelberg, Mark Gangloff, Neil Walker, and, of course, Das Phelpsmeister.

The Spoof has discovered the secret to Phelps' success.

The swimming carnival is now over, 97 medals awarded in 32 events, USA claiming 12 gold and Australia seven. Inge de Bruijn and Pieter van den Hoogenband had a role of each of the Netherlands's seven medal-winning efforts in the pool. But I have two special tributes to make resulting from the week's swimming:

George Bovell won a bronze medal in the 200IM on Thursday to become Trinidad and Tobago's first ever Olympic swimming medallist. Here's just a sample of the Trinidad Express' coverage of Bovell's achievement.

The other tribute is to Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, who singlehandedly quadrupled Zimbabwe's all-time medal count. She won gold in the 200 backstroke, silver in the 100 backstroke and bronze in the 200IM. These add to the gold medal won by the Zimbabwean women's hockey team in Moscow 1980 when they did what hardly any other team achieved, ie, they turned up.

Q: What do Kirsty Coventry, George Bovell and Mark Gangloff all have in common? A: They are all products of Auburn University in Alabama. As reported on the Athletic Department's website on Saturday:

The five swimming medals equal the Auburn record, matching the 1984 games (three gold, two bronze). It also ranked Auburn tied for sixth with Germany on the swimming nations list behind the United States (28), Australia (15), Japan (8), the Netherlands (7) and France (6).

Somebody at Auburn is still sore about the 1861-65 Civil War.

Coventry has been keeping an Olympic diary on the Auburn Athletics website.