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Britain enjoys Super Saturday with three athletics golds

(Xinhua)

08:45, August 06, 2012

LONDON, Aug 4 (Xinhua) -- British spectators' passions and excitements reached climax on a nicknamed Super Saturday night when the Olympic Stadium were rocked by the deafening acclaim of 80,000 fans after the host team wrapped up three of six athletics golds on offer.

National anthem, folk songs and traditional styles of cheers from the fanatic home crowds were echoed on and on in the full-attendance stadium, creating a fantastic atmosphere for the British triumphs in women's heptathlon, men's long jump and 10,000m race.

Jessica Ennis clinched the first gold of the athletics programme for the host after two-day competitions.

With a 188-point lead after six events, Ennis was under little pressure in the final 800m race. But the Team GB's iconic athlete, whose smiling face can be seen in many advertisements around the capital city, raced home first by breaking the British record for the second time this year.

Leading from the gun, she fought back after being overtaken with 300m to cross the line at 2:08.65, winning the gruelling event with a final total of 6,955 points, the third-highest in Olympic history.

The 26-year-old winner couldn't help crying after crossing the line and bowed in front of the wild crowds in standing ovation.

"The crowd helped me and I can't believe I've done it. I'm going to savour the moment. I've had great support, although I have been under a huge amount of pressure," said she.

Greg Rutherford bagged Britain's second gold medal within half an hour of noisy athletics action when he took the men's long jump title.

Rutherford led from round two when he stamped his authority on the competition leaping 8.21m, and he extended his lead with 8.31m in round four, which was his winning mark.

The gold was special for the host. After clinching silver at European championships, Rutherford claimed Britain's first Olympic long jump medal since Lynn Davies' triumph at Tokyo 1964.

Mitchell Watt of Australia took the silver with his best jump at 8.16m and American Will Claye won the bronze in 8.12m.

Later in the night, Mohamed Farah became the first athlete to win the men's 10,000m title on home soil and gave Britain a third athletics gold on the same day for the first time at the Olympic Games.

Farah's gold was also the sixth of the day for Britain, its most in one day since the 1908 Olympic Games. His winning time is 27:30.42. American Galen Rupp claimed silver and Ethiopia's Tariku Bekele got bronze.

Elsewhere, the last show of the night produced women's 100m winner. Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led from start to finish to defend her gold medal from Beijing 2008 in a time of 10.75 seconds. She also joined the elite group by becoming the third woman in Olympic history to retain titles in this discipline. American Camelita Jeter claimed silver in 10.78 seconds and Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown took bronze in 10.81.

Saturday also was a special day for China. With only one day to go before his twentieth birthday, race walker Chen Ding will have a great mood for celebration after winning the gold medal in the men's 20km walk.

It is the first Olympic gold medal won by a Chinese male walker and also the second Olympic gold won by a Chinese male track and field athlete following the country's hurdling star Liu Xiang who claimed title at 2004 Athens Games.

"It is a wonderful gift for my birthday," said Chen, who clocked one hour, 18 minutes and 46 seconds to set a new Olympic record.

Croatia reaped a historical gold medal when Sandra Perkovic won the women's discus throw final at 69.11 meters. The 2012 European champion thus became Croatia's first Olympic gold medallist in athletics. It was Croatia's first Olympic gold medal in any event for eight years.

The 2011 world champion Li Yanfeng gifted China the first Olympic medal in this discipline after her third finish at 67.22. Russian Darya Pishchalnikova, the currently world's number one, finished second at 67.56.

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