George Osborne's appearance at the Olympics couldn't have gone worse if somebody had set him up deliberately (which I'm not ruling out).
Far from suffering from an Olympic hangover, Britons are closing 2012 in a mood of fond nostalgia for the London Games, according to a Guardian/ICM poll.
Some of the sports held up as the biggest crowd-pleasers and legacy drivers during the London Olympics have had their funding cut altogether ahead of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
The Paralympics inspired thousands of Britons to decide that having a disability was no barrier to sport as they cheered on David Weir, Ellie Simmonds and other stars of the Games.
They call Neil Black "the wolf", a reference to the character who disposes of dead bodies played by Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction, and it is under his watch as the newly appointed performance director that athletics in the UK will move forward to Rio 2016 and beyond.
Remember when Manchester United's Ryan Giggs won the award in 2009 pretty much because of the dearth of competition? That won't be happening this year. Paul Moore says the whole of Team GB should win the award.
Russia has been warned it requires “significant further work” in tackling doping if its athletes are to be admitted to the Olympics, while another five countries were placed in “critical care” over their testing procedures.
Jamaica’s Olympic gold-winning sprinter Kemar Bailey-Cole has revealed that he is suffering from the Zika virus.
Greg Rutherford believes his growing aura of invincibility – as well as the unerring ability to pull out a big jump when it matters – can propel him to another Olympic gold medal in Rio next month.
Jo Pavey has admitted that time is running out on her dream of becoming the first British track athlete to compete in five Olympic Games, and fears that a prolonged chest infection could wreck her ambitions to retain her European 10,000m title in Amsterdam next month.
Adam Gemili described it as the “best feeling in the world” after straining to a narrow victory in the men’s 200m at the UK trials. There were smiles, too, for Danny Talbot, a hair’s breadth behind in second, who also secured his Olympic place. But at least one top British sprinter will shortly find his Rio ambitions shattered after a day of intrigue and drama in Birmingham.
Kenya’s top marathon runners are convinced they will be at this year’s Olympics after their government finally passed a law to fund an anti-doping agency with powers to imprison cheats.
British Athletics has confirmed that Jama Aden, the Somali coach who has been arrested by Spanish police on doping charges, no longer works with Mo Farah even though he was “an unofficial facilitator” for Britain’s Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion when he trained in Ethiopia in 2015.
Jessica Ennis-Hill believes she is fitter now than at any time since winning heptathlon gold at London 2012 and she showed her Olympic defence is on track by scoring an impressive 6,733 points to win the IAAF Combined Events Challenge in Ratingen, Germany.
Moments before the starter’s gun shattered the hush of the Alexander Stadium and rocket-launched the greatest 100m race ever seen on these shores, James Dasaolu checked his lane number and wondered whether it might be an omen. Lane four. The same as three years ago here when, on a sweltering day, he bulldozed through the 10-second barrier for the first time.
Jessica Ennis-Hill produced her best shot put performance since London 2012 as the Olympic champion led her first heptathlon of the year after day one, in Ratingen, Germany.
It was third time lucky, then, for the endlessly compelling contradiction that is Mark Cavendish. Following two epic days of competition in only his third ever international class omnium, the Isle of Man cyclist finally had the Olympic medal he craved around his neck after bitter disappointment in Beijing and London.
By midnight, the Olympic Stadium can’t have been a quarter-full.
If Rudyard Kipling’s adage about treating triumph and disaster the same is a standard trope for Olympians, then for the three-time champion Mo Farah it now might be rewritten to include elation and suspicion.