Jessica Ennis-Hill wasn’t going to die wondering. As she lined up for the 800m, the final event of the women’s heptathlon, she knew she needed to overturn a 142-point deficit to surpass Nafissatou Thiam, the brilliant young Belgian – nine years her junior – if she was to retain her Olympic title. That equated to 9.47 seconds: the exact difference between their two personal bests.
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.
The record books tell everything about the cliff face Jessica Ennis-Hill will have to climb when she begins the defence of her Olympic heptathlon title on Friday morning.
Few teams personify that hoary old saw about the fleeting nature of form compared to the permanence of class than the British men’s track cycling sprint team.
Fiji are celebrating their first ever Olympic medal after they outplayed Great Britain from start to finish to win gold in the first Olympic men’s rugby sevens tournament with a 43-7 victory in the final at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio.
This just was not Jo Konta’s day.
Team USA’s Simone Manuel and 16-year-old Canadian Penny Oleksiak have spoiled the party for Australia’s Campbell sisters in a dramatic final of the women’s 100m freestyle.
Simone Manuel made history in the pool on Thursday night, as she became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.
The besieged Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova defended herself against attacks from American Lilly King and others who said her previous suspension for banned substances should keep her out of any Olympics.
By midnight, the Olympic Stadium can’t have been a quarter-full.
The higher the stakes the more Jade Jones seems to like it. Four years ago she was a memorable teenage champion at the London Olympics and British taekwondo’s golden girl has now kicked and punched her way to fresh success in Rio. Her compelling blend of whirling feet and controlled aggression has once again left the world sprawling.
The Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge further enhanced his claims to be considered the greatest marathon runner of all time as he powered away from a high-class field to win the Olympic title.
Sports Illustrated’s cover shoot was out of date before it hit the newsstands. Simone Biles, posing with fellow US multi-medallists Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, has three golds around her neck. Expect meme artists to be photoshopping in her fourth already.
When Gary Antuanne Russell lost his light middleweight quarter-final to Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in a split-decision on Tuesday afternoon boos poured down from the US contingent.
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.
David Weir made no attempt to hide his disappointment after his comprehensive defeat in the T54 800m final and said he will quit track racing after struggling during the Paralympics.
When the red mist descended on Jody Cundy in London four years ago, his eruption was volcanic.
After a magnificent day for British sport here's a look over some of the nation's other great sporting days.
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.