Day 13: Fun with numbers
A recap of some of the great happenings at the London Games on Day 13 on Thursday, by the numbers.
Usain Bolt became the first double sprint winner in two consecutive Games, adding the 200 metre gold medal in a time of 19.32 seconds.
The Jamaican has a chance to become the first non-swimmer to claim three gold medals at these Games, should heavily favoured Jamaica prevail in Saturday's 4 x 100 relay.
He's not the only track athlete with a chance to collect a trio of gold at these Games, although he's the likelier bet.
Allyson Felix of the U.S. is expected to run in both relay finals for the U.S., the 100 and the 400. Of course, that would require three more races with clean baton exchanges for the Americans, something that has been a challenge for both the U.S. women's and men's teams in the past decade.
Should the Jamaican women capture the 4 x 100 relay on Friday night, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will finish the Games with two gold and a silver. Not too shabby.
For the record, four American swimmers are over the mark of three gold at these Games: Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin with four, and Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer with three.
If the Jamaican men run an error-free relay on Saturday and cross first, Bolt will count a sixth career gold medal.
But Bolt would be in pretty lofty company within the track and field domain. The only other modern track athlete to count at least as many gold is Canada's favourite athlete, Carl Lewis, with nine. Flying Finn Paavo Nurmi (nine) and American leaper Ray Ewery (eight) achieved their haul in the early 20th century.
Former Olympic silver medallist sprinter and NBC track commentator Ato Bolton tweeted on Thursday about the magical properties of lane No. 7.
With help from his followers, the list of Olympic Stadium winners from this position seems to include Bolt (twice), Felix (women's 200), Fraser-Pryce (women's 100), Aussie Sally Pearson (women's 100 hurdles) and Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic (men's 400 hurdles).
There's no shame being the second best in the world. Especially when you've been one of Canada's reliable Summer Games performers over the years, and your opponent is nigh on unbeatable.
Tonya Verbeek of Beamsville, Ont., captured silver after being bested for the ninth time in her career by a Japanese foe who's won every world title but one over the last decade, as well as three straight Olympic titles
Poor Timi Garstang of the Marshall Islands. It took him 12.81 seconds just to cross 100 metres last week, a full second after the next lowest ranked competitor.
David Rudisha broke the world record in the 800 on Thursday, averaging 12.625 seconds for every century.
As in, years since Canada had won a team medal at the Summer Games, until the women took soccer bronze on Thursday.
How depressing is that? Sure, we can shrug off the team handball drought, but nary a water polo, soccer, basketball or volleyball medal in all that time, even at boycotted games?
The men's basketball team of 1936 took silver at the Berlin Olympics.
So again ladies, thank you!
Let's hope the wait is a little shorter for the next one.
If you've watched enough women's volleyball from the London Games, you've noticed this South Korean killer.
Big No. 10, Kim Yeon-koung. She's accounted for 185 of her team's points, or over a set's worth per game as the Koreans overcame a 0-2 start to the tournament.
South Korea lost to the deeper U.S. squad in the semifinals on Thursday, with the Americans limiting Kim to "just" 20 points. She'd been over 30 points in two of her side's matches.
But the South Koreans will play for their first medal in women's volleyball in 36 years thanks to Kim, against heated rival Japan. And with a 40-point lead over the next highest scorer and another match to play, the six-foot-four Kim has already locked up tournament top scorer honours.
The dominance of Bolt and Rudisha on the track Thursday brought ardent athletics fans back to the tantalizing question: Who wins a 400 race between the two superstars?
Would Bolt open up enough of a cushion to hold off the relentless Kenyan? Or would fast and steady win the race over the explosive but more unconventional Jamaican?
Both are under 26 years of age. It could happen one day!