Ten glorious moments from London Olympics

Ten glorious moments from London Olympics

MICHAEL PHELPS

With a lop-sided smile of satisfaction, the greatest of swimmers and possibly the greatest Olympian of all time, said farewell with one last immense performance for the US relay team in the men's 4x100m medley. Final tally: 18 career golds, 22 medals. He had done everything he set out to achieve. The world of swimming has lost a titan.

USAIN BOLT

The world's fastest man and his Jamaica relay team-mates provided three of the enduring moments of the Games. The showman opened his campaign with a Games record in the 100 metres, followed up by becoming the first man to retain his titles in the 100 and 200m - where Jamaica finished 1-2-3 - and then anchored the 4x100 relay to a world record time. The moment where Bolt and Yohan Blake caught each others' eyes as they crossed the finish line in the 200, with the winner putting his finger to his lips to silence the young pretender, was a classic moment of theatre.

ANDY MURRAY

The Scott had been reduced to tears when he lost the Wimbledon men's singles final to Roger Federer in July but the world number four took his revenge by thrashing the Swiss on Centre Court in an astonishing performance from a man who has yet to win a Grand Slam tournament. The memory of the Scot leaping into the crowd to celebrate with his nearest and dearest will linger long.

MO FARAH

Even Bolt was moved to do the 'Mobot', the M-shaped hands-on-head gesture after Farah's 5,000m win. Mogadishu-born but proudly British, Farah's feat was hailed as the greatest in the country's athletic history. The first Briton to win a long-distance gold, he was only the seventh man to do the Olympic 5,000/10,000 double. It was an incredible display of speed and desire to win. A golden memory will be the spine-tingling roar of the crowd and the sight of Farah, flag around his shoulders, embracing his daughter after winning.

DAVID RUDISHA

The Kenyan's world record-breaking time was hailed by Games chairman Sebastian Coe as the standout performance of the Olympics. Certainly, anyone there that night will never forget the sight of him streaking away from gun to tape to win in one minute 40.91 seconds. A dazzling, unbelievable show of strength.

KIRANI JAMES

James's 400M gold was the first Olympic medal for Grenada but equally memorable was the moment after the semifinal heat when he and South African 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee to compete on the track at a Games, exchanged name bibs. "He's an inspiration for all of us," said James.

YE SHIWEN

The 16-year-old Chinese swimmer won two gold in London but her smashing of the 400 metres individual medley world record, with a time five seconds faster than her personal best, was astonishing. In fact, the last lap timing was better than even Ryan Lochte. Suggestions from a top American coach that it was, unbelievable and might be a result of using some banned substances triggered a firestorm in China, and the swimmer herself was so hurt by the allegations. She came out in the open and slammed the American’s remark as racist.

STEPHEN KIPROTICH

A huge crowd packed the streets of central London to see Stephen Kiprotich win Uganda's first medal of the Games. Running side by side with Kenya's world champion Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang, the 23-year-old shook off his rivals easily. He was Uganda's first gold medallist since John Akii-Bua 40 years ago. 

WOJDAN SHAHERKANI

Saudi Arabi sent female athletes to a Games for the first time, ensuring every country competing was represented by both sexes. Judoka Wojdan Shaherkani, a painfully shy teenager with no international experience and wearing an ill-fitting suit and headcovering, made a brave debut in front of a global audience of millions. She lasted only 80 seconds but won plenty of applause nonetheless.

GABBY DOUGLAS

President Barack Obama wants to meet the ‘The Flying Squirrel’, Oprah Winfrey shed ‘happy tears’ for her, and her surname is an anagram of 'USA Gold'. America fell in love with this gymnast, who became the first African-American to win an Olympic title in the women's individual all-round event. Douglas, is also among the ten Olympians, who have garnered more than one million Tweets, the social networking site has revealed. Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt led the list with 80,000 tweets per minute.

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