Team GB were back on the gold medal trail today after a slight breather yesterday, including wins in equestrian, boxing, and taekwondo. Meanwhile, on the track, Usain Bolt was completing the sprint double with a victory in the 200m and furthering the legendary status he so craves. Team Jamaica even completed a clean sweep in the event. But with all the hype centred on Bolt it shouldn’t be overlooked that Team Kenya’s David Rudisha had earlier smashed the 800m world record in winning gold.
First up for Team GB gold was Charlotte Dujardin with her horse, Valegro. She had already won one gold in the team dressage. But this time she did the business on her own in what I so want to call musical horse dancing, but which is officially called freestyle dressage. I don’t understand how it’s judged and I’m not even sure that the horses know that it’s ‘their’ music playing in the background. Still, well done them.
Next up was Nicola Adams, who became the first ever female gold medallist in boxing. This was an historic moment as women finally gained equality in a sport that they had been denied Olympic access to for over a century. But also, it should be noted just how well Nicola Adams boxed. This was an exciting, flowing performance, complete with Ali shuffles, that had the crowd in raptures. Completely vindicating the decision to include women’s boxing on sporting grounds as well as equality grounds.
There is a theory, known as nominative determinism, that says the job or activity you end up doing can be influenced by your name. A man called Fish who becomes a Fisherman, for example. Step forward Martin Stamper, Liverpudlian taekwondo competitor. Watching him, it also struck me that this is probably the only time it will ever be reasonable to cheer on a Scouser kicking a Mexican in the head.
Continuing the taekwondo theme, the third Team GB gold of the day went to 19 year-old Welsh woman, Jade Jones, who put in a series of exuberant, technically gifted performances on her way to victory. One of the surprise stars of the games. And finally, I noticed a sign in the taekwondo arena that said WTF. I thought this was rather rude until I discovered that it stands for World Taekwondo Federation.