August 3, Judo – Wodjan Shaherkani competes for 82 Seconds
Due to international pressure from sport and women’s rights activists to include women or face possible sanctions, Saudi Arabia sent two women athletes to compete at the London Olympics. One of them was a judo competitor named Wodjan Shaherkani. She didn’t meet Olympic qualifying standards and was competing by specific invitation of the IOC. Wodjan was only a blue belt and had practised judo for only two years. On August 3 the sixteen year old became the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in Olympics. She was floored to the ground in the elimination round of the women’s 78kg contest after 82 seconds. Although it was a negligible contest, Shaherkani’s appearance in London might inspire other women in her country to compete in sports.
August 4, Athletics – Oscar Pistorius is the first amputee runner to compete in Olympics
After being unable to fulfil his dream of competing with able bodied athletes in Beijing, Oscar Pistorius of South Africa qualified for the London Olympics and competed in the 400m and the 4X400m relay. Known as ‘the blade runner’ and ‘the fastest man on no legs’ Oscar finished second in the heat of 400m with a time of 45.44s. In the semi-final Oscar finished eighth with a time of 46.54s. He might not have qualified for the finals but Oscar remains a source of inspiration for many people. His sporting motto is – “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.”
August 5, Badminton – Lin Dan beats Lee Chong Wei
After eight players were expelled in women’s doubles for trying to purposely loose a match to get a favourable draw, Badminton needed a high after the low. And that is exactly what it was provided by the men’s singles final match between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei. In an epic final watched by 20% of the world’s population Lin Dan dug deep in the third game to win 15-21, 21-10, 21-19. Lee Chong Wei played his part well but was unable to avenge his defeat four years earlier in the final at Beijing 2008. Lin’s victory, completed in 79 energy-sapping minutes, made him the first man to retain an Olympic Games Singles title.
August 5, Tennis – Andy Murray thrashes Roger Federer
Four weeks after his tearful loss against the world number one, Andy Murray of Great Britain played some impeccable tennis to beat Roger Federer to win the gold medal match. He thus became the first British tennis player in over a hundred years to win a gold medal at the Olympics. What was more unbelievable than the victory was the fashion in which he won. Murray defeated Federer on Federer’s favourite surface in three straight sets with a score-line of 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. This was Roger’s worst defeat since 2008. The last one was against the king of clay, Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. It seems unlikely that Federer will now be able to complete the Golden Slam of all four grand slam titles and the Olympic gold in singles. As for Murray it remains to be seen whether he can translate this victory into a grand slam title that still eludes him.
August 5, Athletics – Usain Bolt defends his 100m title
The fastest man on earth didn’t disappoint. Usain Bolt won the 100m in 9.63s bettering his own Olympic record. Then he became the first man in history to defend his 100m and 200m sprint titles by winning the 200m in 19.32s. On the last day of Olympics the Jamaican team won the 4X100m relay in a world record time of 36.84s and Usain Bolt completed his golden triple. Thus Bolt repeated his performance of Beijing and became the first man to win 6 Olympic gold medals in sprinting.