By the conclusion of competition on Day 9, China took the lead in the medals race, jumping one medal ahead of the United States. Great Britain held its third position with a total of 37 medals just two ahead of Russia. Golden moments for the host country on Day 9 included a team victory in Men's Finn Sailing and Andy Murray's win in Men's Tennis Singles against the reigning number one in the world Swiss Roger Federer. Murray and his partner Laura Robson also had a chance for gold in Mixed Doubles, but, after Robson held two points on her serve to bring the match tiebreak to 9-8, opponents Victoria Azarenka and Max Miryni of Belarus held their serve to win their third matchpoint, giving the British pair an unexpected and hard-won silver.
The most anticipated event at Olympic Park was the Men's 100m, where rivaling countrymen Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake would go head-to-head on the Olympic stage to determine who is the current fastest man in the world. Below is a summary of where the results of that race and other athletics events of the day stand in Olympic history.
Women's marathon. When long-distance runner Bobbi Gibb wrote to the Boston Marathon in 1966 for an application to compete, the officials returned her request with a flat denial stating that women were not physically capable of running the marathon. The Olympics did a great deal to combat this prejudice when it introduced the Women's marathon event in 1984. Gender biases have placed plenty of invisible stumbling blocks on the path female long-distance runners have had to travel to get to the Games. But this year Tiki Gelana had to confront a real stumbling block in the form of a water station. The collision occurred at the half-way mark and brought Gelana to the ground. She thought her dreams of an Olympic medal were over. But, in one of the most heroic stories of the London Games, she rose back to her feet and not only finished the 42.195 km (26.219 mile) race but won it with an Olympic-record-setting pace of 2:23:07. This is the second gold for Ethiopia after the 1996 win of Fatuma Roba.
Women's Triple Jump. The 2012 Games are only the fifth Olympiad that has had the Women's Triple Jump as a medal event. Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova won gold with a distance of 14.98 meters, a jump that was 2.7% shorter than Francoise Mbango Etone's jump at the 2008 Games.
Men's Hammer. Men having been chasing the record set by Sergey Litvinov for 24 years. This Olympian for former Soviet Union threw the hammer 84.80 meters at the 1988 Seoul Games. Hungarian's Krisztián Pars throw of 80.59 meters was 4.21 meters short, but still good enough at London to earn gold.
Women's 400m. Home advantage couldn't give the defending gold medalist, Christine Ohuruogu, enough boost to outpace American Sanya Richards-Ross who took gold in a time of 49.55 seconds. Still, no Olympic female runner has come close to breaking the 48.25-second time set by France's Marie-José Pérec at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Men's 3000m Steeplechase. Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya took gold in a time of 8:18.56. This is the tenth gold for Kenya in the event. France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad followed up his silver-medal performance at Beijing with a second silver.
Readers might notice that 1932 was an outlier in the time trends. Due to a counting error, the runners at these Los Angeles Games ran an extra lap, an extra 460 meters.
Men's 100m. Lightning struck twice for Usain Bolt who won the title of the fastest man in the world, once again, with a time of 9.63 seconds, a new Olympic record. He and Carl Lewis are now share a place in the history books as being the only men to have won two consecutive golds in the 100m. Bolt improved on his Beijing time by 0.6%, an absolute improvement of 0.06 seconds. For an event with such narrow margins, this was an effective crushing of his former time. Just to give the speed some perspective, Bolt's average pace was 23.2 mph.
Bolt's teammate Yohan Blake took silver, the fourth silver in the 100m for Jamaica, leaving track & field coaches to wonder whether speed is contagious.