"British sport could just stop the clock and take up permanent residence in August 4, 2012."
- Paul Hayward, The Telegraph, 5.8.12
Sometimes, early on a Sunday morning, you've just got to sleep in that extra hour or so. I did that this morning and missed out on viewing live some of the greatest moments of the Olympic Games in the pool and in the athletics stadium.
Was Saturday Great Britain's finest-ever day of sport? I'll leave that to the historians, but the British media aren't being so patient. After their earlier success in rowing and cycling, Team GB took three gold at the Olympic Stadium inside of an hour: Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon; Greg Rutherford in the long jump; and Mo Farah in the men's 10000 metres. All extraordinary, As a track fan, Farah's finish will be totally unforgettable for me.
The swimming carnival came to an end, and with it Michael Phelps' Olympic swimming career: 18 gold 2 silver 2 bronze across three Olympiads. The greatest Olympian ever? Statistically, yes. And I know you will be shocked that the NBC is failing to hold back on its praise.
(Of course, on the subject of statistical greatness, Rutherford's gold medal jump of 8.31 metres is still 59 centimetres short of Bob Beamon's Olympic record, albeit altitude-assisted, of 44 years ago).
Australia's swimming campaign ended with 1 gold 6 silver 3 bronze. Alicia Coutts' five medals (1-3-1) was just one behind his Phelpsness. Leisel Jones ended her four-Olympiad career with nine medals, an Australian record to equal The Thorpedo.
However, Australia scored no individual swimming gold, and with government funding for elite sports so competitive, that may be a telling stat in the months ahead.
The non-British highlight on the track on Saturday night was Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's victory in the women's 100 metres to repeat her success at Beijing. Play in the West Indies v New Zealand cricket Test at Sabina Park, Kingston was halted while Fraser-Pryce's race was run. The Second Test should be over, weather permitting, before Bolt and Blake race the men's equivalent 24 hours later.
St Kitts Nevis' Kim Collins failed to compete in the men's 100 metres heats on Saturday morning after being dropped from the team for absenting himself from the Olympic village without permission to spend the night with his wife in a hotel. Collins said, as part of a Twitter tirade against the SKN officials, that "For those who saw me run in Mexico. That's the last time I represent my country". For today's Youtube do Dia, here's that race, where he won the silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games: