* Fraser-Pryce extends Jamaican sprint dominance
* Britons win heptathlon, men's long jump and 10,000 metres
* Phelps finishes with 18th gold, record 22nd Olympic medal
* Serena Williams wins women's tennis title
* "Blade runner" Pistorius makes Games history
(Updates with women's 100 metres and men's 10,000)
By Kevin Liffey
LONDON, Aug 4 Three athletics golds crowned host
nation Britain's best Olympic day for over a century after the
greatest swimmer of all time bowed out on a high by winning
Saturday's last pool race of the Games.
Jessica Ennis, poster girl of the London Games, collapsed in
tears of relief after a capacity 80,000 crowd roared her around
the athletics track to victory in the heptathlon. More golds
followed for Britain in the men's long jump and 10,000 metres.
On the day Jamaica's 100 metres world record holder Usain
Bolt began his title defence, compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
won the right to call herself the fastest woman in the world by
winning her second successive women's 100m Olympic gold.
American Serena Williams made short work of Maria Sharapova
in the women's tennis final to seal a career "Golden Slam" of
all four Grand Slam titles plus Olympic singles gold.
Day Eight of the Games had been billed as "Super Saturday",
but the host nation's enthusiastic crowds could hardly have
imagined that Britain would take six of the 25 golds on offer.
They had not won so many on a single day since the first
London Olympics, in 1908.
In rowing, Britain finished as leading nation, winning two
golds on the last day of competition, including the prized men's
four. In the velodrome, where they have dominated, the hosts won
the women's team pursuit to make it four golds out of five so
Britain finished the day third in the medals table on 14
golds, behind the United States on 26 and China on 25.
"I just had to give it everything at the end," Ennis said
after winning the final 800m discipline. "I just wanted to make
sure I gave them something and brought it all home."
Although Britain have made little impact at the pool that
did not stop the crowd also giving a rapturous send-off to the
most decorated Olympian of all.
Michael Phelps swam his favourite butterfly stroke in his
farewell race to help the United States to victory in the 4x100m
medley relay, an event they have never lost.
The medal was his 18th gold in an Olympic career stretching
back to Sydney in 2000, and his 22nd of any colour, four more
than the previous record held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.
But the night in the stadium belonged to Britain.
First Ennis left the heptathlon field trailing, having
recorded personal bests in three of her seven disciplines. Then
Greg Rutherford won an unexpected long jump gold.
Finally, Mo Farah, born in Somalia but brought up in
England, won Britain's first ever 10,000m gold, breaking 16
years of Ethiopian domination of the event. Kenenisa Bekele,
winner at the last two Olympics, finished fourth.
"I just can't believe it, the crowd got behind me so much.
I've never experienced anything like this. The best moment of my
life," Farah said.
The last word of the night belonged to Jamaica, where
Fraser-Pryce just held off Carmelita Jeter of the United States
to retain her Olympic 100m title in an impressive 10.75 seconds.
Her win could be the first leg of a Jamaican double with
Bolt and Yohan Blake vying for the men's 100 gold on Sunday.
Bolt, the biggest draw of the Games, soaked up the applause
of the crowd before comfortably winning his morning heat, albeit
with a stuttering start.
"I made a bad step," the 25-year-old said. "I stumbled a
bit. I'm glad it happened now."
Earlier in the day, South African "blade runner" Oscar
Pistorius had made history of a different kind as the first
double amputee to compete in an Olympic athletics event, coming
through his 400 metres heat.
Pistorius raised his arm to acknowledge the cheers of the
crowd. Born without a fibula in both legs, he fought for the
right to line up against able-bodied competition, racing in his
carbon-fibre prosthetic blades.
"I was so nervous this morning," an elated Pistorius told
reporters. "Thanks to everyone for showing their support. I
didn't know whether to cry."
But where there were thrills there were also spills as
American defending men's 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, the
fastest in the world this year, pulled up injured in his heat.
Former world 100m champion Kim Collins failed to appear for
qualifying, vowing never to run for St Kitts & Nevis again after
falling out with his country's Olympics officials.
On Wimbledon's Centre Court, Williams was in imperious form,
thrashing Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-0 6-1 in just 62 minutes.
It made her the fourth player to win a career "golden slam"
after Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal.
The Americans cemented their dominance in the pool by
winning the women's medley relay in world record time, but had
to share the last-night limelight with China's Sun Yang.
Sun slashed more than three seconds off his own world record
to win the men's 1500m freestyle to go with his 400m gold.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won the women's 50m
freestyle. Having already won the 100m, she is unchallenged as
the fastest woman in the pool.
In the velodrome, Britain's women's pursuit team took gold,
breaking the world record for the third time in three races.
In London's Hyde Park, the women's triathlon came down to a
photo-finish, the first ever in the sport.
After just shy of two hours of swimming, cycling and
running, Switzerland's Nicola Spirig was judged to have beaten
Lisa Norden of Sweden by just 15 cm (6 inches) after a ferocious
Away from the sporting action, Colombian 400m runner Diego
Palomeque Echevarria was suspended from the Games after testing
positive for testosterone, the fourth athlete suspended by the
International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Brazilian rower Kissya Cataldo da Costa has been sent home
by her own federation for failing a pre-Games dope test.
"Cheats are being caught and ejected," said IOC spokesman
Mark Adams. "At this stage it is a pretty low number."
Ironically, the bans came on a big day for prominent doping
offenders Justin Gatlin and Dwain Chambers, who were selected to
run in the 100m in London after serving long bans.
"I would clearly rather have that these competitors are not
here," London Games chief Sebastian Coe told Reuters.
"The federation says they are eligible to compete, the IOC
says they are eligible to compete so we give them as much
courtesy as all the other athletes. The answer is that that is
the world we live in."
(Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Mitch Phillips,
Steven Downes and Kate Holton)