(Repeats story with no change to text)
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON Aug 12 The London Olympics were packed
with sporting highlights, personal dramas and emotional highs
and lows. Here are 20 golden moments from the Games.
- - - -
Michael Phelps bows out with a record medal haul
With a lop-sided smile of satisfaction, the greatest of
swimmers and possibly the greatest Olympian of all time, said
farewell with one last immense performance for the U.S. relay
team in the men's 4x100m medley. Final tally: 18 career golds,
22 medals. He had done everything he set out to achieve. The
world of swimming has lost a titan of the pool.
Usain Bolt wins (and wins and wins)
The world's fastest man and his Jamaica relay team mates
provided three of the enduring moments of the Games. The showman
opened his campaign with a Games record in the 100 metres,
followed up by becoming the first man to retain his titles in
the 100 and 200m - where Jamaica finished 1-2-3 - and then
anchored the 4x100 relay to a world record time.
The moment where Bolt and Yohan Blake caught each others'
eyes as they crossed the finish line in the 200, with the winner
putting his finger to his lips to silence the young pretender,
was a classic moment of theatre.
Andy Murray winning tennis gold at Wimbledon
Murray had been reduced to tears when he lost the Wimbledon
men's singles final to Roger Federer in July but he took his
revenge by thrashing the Swiss on Centre Court in an astonishing
performance from a man who has yet to win a grand slam
tournament. The memory of the Scot leaping into the crowd to
celebrate with his nearest and dearest will linger long.
Mo Farah wins 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold
Even Bolt was moved to do the 'Mobot', the M-shaped
hands-on-head gesture after Farah's 5,000m win. Mogadishu-born
but proudly British, Farah's feat was hailed as the greatest in
the country's athletic history. The first Briton to win a
long-distance gold, he was only the seventh man to do the
Olympic 5,000/10,000 double. A golden memory will be the
spine-tingling roar of the crowd and the sight of Farah, flag
around his shoulders, embracing his daughter after winning.
U.S. women win 4x100 metres relay gold
The last three Olympics had been a comedy of errors for the
women's team, with botched baton exchanges keeping them off the
top of the podium track, but they got their act together in
style this time. Their record, a sizzling 40.82 seconds, smashed
the world mark of 41.37 set by the old East Germany in 1985.
Saudi Arabia's first female athlete
The kingdom sent female athletes to a Games for the first
time, ensuring every country competing was represented by both
sexes. Judoka Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, a
painfully shy teenager with no international experience and
wearing an ill-fitting suit and headcovering, made a brave debut
in front of a global audience of millions. She lasted only 80
seconds but won plenty of applause nonetheless.
Nicola Adams wins first women's boxing gold
After years of battling for Olympic inclusion, female
fighters finally had their moment. The first to take gold in the
ring was 29-year-old British flyweight Nicola Adams whose
previous jobs included tiling and working as an extra in
television shows. The gold won, she looked forward to a chicken
dinner. The Irish crowd cheering Katie Taylor to lightweight
gold sent decibel counters off the scale.
David Rudisha wins the 800 metres
The Kenyan's world record-breaking time was hailed by Games
chairman Seb Coe as the standout performance of the Olympics.
Certainly, anyone there that night will never forget the sight
of him streaking away from gun to tape to win in one minute
40.91 seconds. A dazzling, unbelievable show of strength.
The Flying Squirrel
President Barack Obama wants to meet her, Oprah Winfrey shed
'happy tears' for her and her surname is an anagram of 'USA
Gold'. America fell in love with gymnast Gabby Douglas, the
'Flying Squirrel' who became the first African American to win
an Olympic title in the women's individual all-round event.
Kirani James and Oscar Pistorius
James's 400 metres gold was the first Olympic medal for
Grenada but equally memorable was the moment after the
semi-final heat when he and South African 'Blade Runner' Oscar
Pistorius, the first double amputee to compete on the track at a
Games, exchanged name bibs. "He's an inspiration for all of us,"
said James. "It's an honour competing against that guy. What he
does takes a lot of courage. he's a great individual and it's
time we see him like that and not anything else."
Niger's 'Sculling Sloth'
Hamadou Djibo Issaka emerged as an unlikely hero who won
near-cult status, if nothing else, on the rowing course. Some
20,000 spectators rose to their feet to cheer him to the finish
as he lagged the field by 300 metres on a 2,000 metre course. "I
don't have any technique," he told reporters. "I've been
learning only three months."
Photo finish in women's triathlon
After one hour 59 minutes and 48 seconds of swimming,
cycling and running, Switzerland's Nicola Spirig and Sweden's
Lisa Norden crossed the line together. It took a photo-finish to
separate them. The men's race also stood out for the sight of
British winner Alistair Brownlee winning gold and shaking hands
with Spanish silver medallist Javier Gomez while both were
sprawled on the floor at the finish.
The opening ceremony and cauldron
Seven teenagers, in keeping with the Games motto of 'Inspire
a generation', lit 200-plus copper petals which then rose on
stalks to form the single burning flower of a cauldron. It was a
dramatic finale to a musical celebration of British history and
culture that also starred 86-year-old Queen Elizabeth in her
first acting role alongside James Bond actor Daniel Craig. The
moment of realisation that it was really her, turning from her
desk to say "Good evening, Mr Bond", was delicious.
Jessica Ennis and 'Super Saturday'
The second Saturday was the day when the London Games really
took off for the host nation, with a gold rush after a slow
start, but the signs had been there on Friday. The roar when
heptathlon queen Jessica Ennis started her 100m hurdles heat on
the first morning of athletics was spine-tingling and set the
tone for what was to follow.
South Korea's women archers
Ki Bo-bae, Lee Sung-jin and Choi Hyeon-ju beat China by a
point to win the women's team title for the seventh consecutive
Games. The images of archery at Lord's cricket ground were also
stunning. "Lord's, 200 years old, we really like it here, Can we
keep it?" said the tournament announcer.
Ye Shiwen breaks a world record
The 16-year-old Chinese swimmer won two golds in London but
her smashing of the 400 metres individual medley world record,
with a time five seconds faster than her personal best, was
astonishing. Suggestions from a top American coach that it was,
in fact, altogether unbelievable and might be a result of banned
substances triggered a firestorm in China where many saw the
accusations as biased and racist.
Kiprotich wins the men's marathon
A huge crowd packed the streets of central London to see
Kiprotich win Uganda's first medal of the Games. Running side by
side with Kenya's world champion Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang,
the 23-year-old shook off his rivals and crossed the finish line
draped in his national flag. He was Uganda's first gold
medallist since John Akii-Bua 40 years ago in the 400m hurdles.
Ruben Limardo's fencing gold medal
The winner of Venezuela's first gold medal in 44 years
charmed London and beyond by wearing his medal on the capital's
underground system, posing for photos with passengers and
teaching them Venezuelan sports chants. His country's grateful
president gave him a replica of the sword used by South American
independence hero Simon Bolivar.
Tears of Hoy
The 'Hoy Wonder' that is Chris Hoy shed tears of joy after
winning his sixth Olympic cycling gold to become Britain's most
decorated Olympian. "I'm in shock," he said. "I'm trying to take
it all in, but this is surreal. It is what I always wanted."
South Korean sit-in
A weeping Shin A-lam staged a one-hour protest and had to be
physically escorted off the fencing piste after her
controversial elimination from the epee semi-final. The sight of
the 25-year-old looking dejected as she sat on a spot-lit piste,
pristine in her white uniform with a towel draped over her
shoulder, was an indelible image.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Millership and