In what may yet prove to be her final Olympic appearance Allyson Felix led the US 4x400m relay team home in style to become the most decorated athlete in US track and field history, overcoming their Jamaican rivals with ease in the process.
A tearful Ryan Lochte has said sorry to his US swimming team-mates, his family and the people of Brazil for a “stupid mistake” at a Rio gas station that overshadowed the final week of the Olympic Games.
The years and opponents might change, but for Mo Farah some things remain ever present: that feeling of accelerating through the gears, the thrill of leaving his rivals clutching at his slipstream, the joy of kissing the track knowing another gold medal is in the bag.
Well, the Olympics have turned up. What a night this was in the Maracaña, as Brazil’s long-nursed dreams of a first Olympic football gold medal were stretched thin, wrung out a little more and then finally delivered via Neymar’s winning kick in the decisive penalty shootout.
“That piaffe was exquisite,” I said, awed, to my girlfriend. Her eyes rolled upwards in long-suffering torment at my confidently professed knowledge of a movement in the dressage event.
Martyn Rooney has questioned whether foul play might have been responsible for Britain’s 4x400m relay team being disqualified from Saturday’s final – allowing the Brazilian team to take their place in the closing event of the Olympic track and field programme.
Death, taxes, the United States women’s basketball team.
Farewell then Usain St Leo Bolt, also known as Lightning, also known (but only to his mum) as “VJ” and now also known for as long as anyone cares to keep measuring these things as the greatest track and field athlete ever.
Shakur Stevenson’s dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal and ending the United States’ historic drought in men’s boxing ended in tears after he settled for silver with a split-decision loss to Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez in the bantamweight final at Riocentro.
Charley Hull finished two shots off the bronze medal in the women’s Olympic golf competition won by Inbee Park. The South Korean finished on 16 under par, five shots clear of New Zealand’s Lydia Ko. A late flurry of birdies from the Kiwi, including one on the 18th green, relegated China’s Shanshan Feng to third.
Imagine how extraordinarily talented you would need to be to be the fourth best in the world at whatever it is you do, how it would feel if you absolutely knew that, in a population of almost eight billion people, there were only three who better than you.
These Olympics will be remembered for any amount of athletic excellence but there are days when the acreage of empty seats in Rio’s showpiece stadium feels doubly depressing. If there is one man who should be guaranteed to attract a crowd it is Usain Bolt, the fastest and most marketable athlete on the planet. For him to run in front of a sea of vacant blue plastic really does damage the Games’ image.
The governing body of world athletics has taken the unprecedented step of suspending Russia from all competitions in the wake of revelations of state-sponsored doping.
By early Monday morning it was hard to know which was the more indelible image for the US on a Sunday that had brought so much disappointment in its first 23 hours.
The first words that came out of Vicky Holland’s mouth after a desperate sprint had taken her to a thrillingly unexpected Olympic triathlon bronze medal were an apology.
Gold medals never come easy, but Mo Farah’s third was harder than most. First Farah fell, and then he found himself in a fierce final sprint with Kenya’s Paul Tanui.
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.
The full story of the men’s 100m Olympic final will not play out for another fortnight, but its rolling narrative is long established. Light and dark. Good and evil. Usain Bolt versus Justin Gatlin.
Legendary Australian swimming coach and the country’s oldest Olympian, Forbes Carlile, has died aged 95.
If ever there was an athlete to put a smile on a nation’s face, it surely was Nicola Adams. But the most effervescent member of the Great Britain Olympic squad had to bite down hard on her gumshield here on Tuesday to secure at least a bronze with a one-fight passage through to the semi-finals.
First came the opprobrium and now comes the financial hit.
Mo Farah admits he is wrestling with the idea of carrying on to the Tokyo 2020 Games after completing an extraordinary Olympic “double double” on Saturday night. However, he concedes he will be forced to take it a year at a time as he faces up to getting older and wanting to spend more time with his family.
The United States men’s basketball team saved their best for last, capping an occasionally precarious Olympic tournament with a stress-free 96-66 rout of Serbia to capture yet another gold medal in the final event of the Rio Games.