Aug 4 2012
Jessica Ennis is hoping to build on her sensational start in the heptathlon as the Games' Super Saturday gets under way in the Olympic Stadium.
The 26-year-old recorded the fastest time ever run in the heptathlon for the 100m hurdles, smashing her personal best with an exhilarating run of 12.54 seconds in front of 80,000 screaming fans.
Ennis's success came on a glorious day for Team GB as Victoria Pendleton became queen of the velodrome, its cyclists smashed a world record and rower Katherine Grainger finally realised her Olympic dream.
Ennis remained on course for Olympic heptathlon glory after notching up a 184-point lead after four events with her best ever first-day score as the action got under way at the Olympic Stadium.
It was a golden day for Britain as Pendleton made up for the bitter disappointment of being relegated from the team sprint and produced a storming finish to take the gold medal in the women's keirin. "This is the greatest moment in my career so far," said Pendleton, who will retire after attempting to defend her sprint title at the Olympic Velodrome. "A lot of people thought I'd passed my best and I just wanted to prove them wrong, so this does feel pretty good."
The surge of excitement growing around Britain's success should reach a crescendo on what has been tagged Super Saturday. As well as Ennis, there are chances for gold for Mo Farah, the men's coxless four, triathlete Helen Jenkins, and the cycling's women's team pursuit.
Farah goes for gold in the final of the 10,000 metres after being pipped to the world title last year, with the race due to start just 25 minutes after Ennis could seal gold. Current world champion Jenkins will also be in action at Hyde Park where she could be Olympic champion by lunchtime. And at around the same time the Olympic Stadium will have the first sight of Usain Bolt, who is expected to ease through the qualifying rounds of the 100m ahead of tomorrow's semi-final and final.
Great Britain has won gold in the men's coxless four at each of the last three Olympics and is desperate to extend that dynasty over at Eton Dorney. Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory will be going for glory, cheered on by Lieutenant Reed's fellow sailors and Royal Marines who are embarked on HMS Bulwark providing Games security in Weymouth.
On Friday, another quartet, the men's cycling team pursuit squad shattered the world record as they took gold, leaving rivals Australia trailing in their wake. The atmosphere in the Velodrome was electric as Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke stormed to victory. And after three consecutive silver medals Katherine Grainger had feared she would always be the bridesmaid at the Games, but put those days behind her as she took gold with her double sculls partner, Anna Watkins.
The golds pushed Team GB to fourth in the medals table with 22 - eight gold, six silver and eight bronze. At the same point in the hugely-successful Beijing Games Britain had won just eight medals.