Ireland's Katie Taylor, left, fights Russia's Sofya Ochigava during their women's lightweight Olympic gold medal match
Ireland’s Katie Taylor completed a lifetime dream by winning an Olympic gold medal when she beat Russia's Sofya Ochigava 10-8 in the women's lightweight final at the ExCel Arena.
Cheered on by a capacity crowd, that surely broke the decibel level record at the London 2012 Games, Taylor had to dig deep against an opponent who had previously beaten her.
Unlike Taylor's quarter-final bout with Natasha Jonas, this was no classic, as Ochigava's spoiling tactics and counter-attacking style troubled the Bray women, who trailed 4-3 at the end of the second round.
Nevertheless, Taylor dug deep and rallied in the third round with the kind of precision boxing that has made her a four-time world champion.
And although she had to endure a tense wait at the end of a tough fourth round, the referee duly raised her hand to spark off wild celebrations and emotional scenes throughout the arena.
A calm and confident Taylor entered the ring to unbelievable support from a crowd that had the likes of Dara O'Briain rubbing shoulders with Princess Anne - who was forced to cover her ears such was the noise.
The ring announcer could barely be heard over the din of Taylor's supporters but a calm and confident Sofya Ochigava did not look flustered, despite some unsporting booing as her name was announced.
Taylor was bouncing on her toes from the start and was the immediate aggressor, feinting with her left jab and using it to create room for her right hook. The Bray woman suffered an early slip in the clinch but a slip is all it was and there's no bonus point for Ochigava.
The Russian, known for her defensive tactics, was happy to invite Taylor on and caught her flush with a powerful right, but the Bray woman hit back with a looping left before ending the round with a powerful flurry on the bell that Ochigava did well to block.
A scoreline of 2-2 was a fair reflection of the opening round and Ochigava, encouraged by her early success loosened up slightly, going after Taylor and catching her twice in quick succession with her left hook.
The Russian southpaw, then reverted to form, slowing down the pace of the fight and disrupting Taylor's rhythm with a series of clinches and awkward non-scoring jabs that had the Irishwomen struggling.
Taylor managed to land a scoring blow just before the bell went, but there was real concern among the Irish supporters as the scorecard read 4-3 in the favour of Ochigava.
Determined not to allow Ochigava continued to dictate the pace, Taylor made early gains in the third, catching the Russian with her right hook twice in quick succession.
The Bray fighter followed that up with a left jab and and a right hook that both look like scoring before the Russian hits back with a powerful-looking body blow.
Both fighters got a well-earned breather with 30 seconds to go in the round as Ochigava's equipment needs attention, and that break killed the momentum of the round, which Taylor was in danger of running away with.
Nevertheless there where huge cheers when the bell went and scorecard showed that Taylor had punched her way to a 7-5 lead.
Trailing going into the final round, Ochigava finally left her counter-punch style behind her and opened the round with a massive haymaker that Taylor did well to avoid. The Bray fighter then went to work on the body of her opponent before the referee, rather harshly broke them up and indicated that she had called for a break.
Ochigava then looked to have scored with a left on the counter and after a clinch, she appeared to catch Taylor with a booming right that forced a stumble. To her credit Taylor recovered immediately and disguised it as a slip and there was no standing count.
An increasingly desperate Ochigava pushed forward in the closing minute, throwing as many punches as she had in the first two rounds, and even Taylor was working well behind her defence and blocking well, she was still getting caught.
Taylor hit back with a scoring left just before the closing bell but there was still an almost unbearable wait and what seemed to be a prolonged delay, sparking concerns that it may have been a countback, before the referee raised her hand to send the crowd in attendance and those watching at home into rapture.
Russian wrestler Natalia Vorobieva pinned down her opponent and the gold medal in the final of the women’s 72 kilogram freestyle wrestling Thursday.
Bulgaria’s Stanka Zlateva won the first round 1-0 but was pinned by Vorobieva 46 seconds into the second round and lost the match to the 21-year-old student from Siberia.
For reigning world champion Zlateva, it was her second straight loss in an Olympic final after losing the gold medal match to China’s Wang Jiao in Beijing four years ago.
Vorobieva’s triumph prevented a Japanese sweep of the four women’s wrestling gold medals and puts Russia on top of the wrestling medals table ahead of the seven men’s freestyle events.
The bronze medals went to Kazakhstan’s Gayel Manyurova and Spain’s Maider Unda.
Manyurova beat Wang 3-1 on points, while Unda defeated Belarusian grappler Vasilisa Marzalyuk 3-0 on points.
Russia Takes Gold in Team Synchronised Swimming
Russia won Olympic gold in the team synchronized swimming final Friday.
The Russians, headed by two-time Olympic champions Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina, scored 98.930 out of 100 for their performance.
"I am very happy that we managed to get the result with the girls and that we carried on the tradition of synchronised swimming, winning four Olympic games in a row," Russia team member Anastasia Davydova said, adding that she would now retire to take up coaching.
"The music was chosen by our coach and the idea was to come up with something completely new. The theme was a lost world like a big spiders net, we wanted people to get the goosebumps," her teammate Alexandra Patskevich said.
The result underlines the dominance of the Russians, who have taken every gold in the event since Sydney 2000.
China finished second with 97.010 points, narrowly beating Spain, who were awarded 96.920 points and the bronze medal.
"We are still some distance from Russia. They will be our targets in the future for a long while," China coach Zhang Xiaolei said.
The Spanish team shaved their heads in order to attach unusual fish-like scales to their heads, but team member Thais Henriquez Torres said it was worth it.
"It was all in aid of the cause."
On Tuesday, Ishchenko and Romashina won gold in the duet.
Volleyball: Russia Defeats Bulgaria to Reach Final
Russia ousted Bulgaria in a four-set Olympic men's volleyball semifinal on Friday.
Bulgaria fought back in the third game after going two games down before a tense fourth game in which the teams were neck-and-neck before Russia stole win at the end.
The final score was 25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 25-23.
Russian attacker Maxim Mikhailov was the man of the match scoring 25 points and scoring the match point with a powerful spike.
In Sunday’s final, Russia will play either Brazil or Italy, who beat reigning champion the United States in the quarterfinals.
Russia, which won bronze in Beijing, lost 3-0 to Brazil in the group stage.
Russia’s Tatyana Lysenko added Olympic hammer gold to her world title Friday, nailing the Olympic record with a huge throw.
Lysenko threw the hammer 78 meters 28 centimeters, breaking Aksana Miankova’s record from the Beijing Olympics by almost two meters.
Second place went to Poland’s former world champion Anita Wlodarczyk, who also broke the old Olympic record with a 77.60 meter throw on her last attempt.
Zhang Wenxui won her second bronze in successive Olympics for China with 76.34 meters.
Germany’s Betty Heidler saw her world record of 79.42 meters left untouched, but threw well below her best and was forced to settle for eighth.
Russia's double European champion Dzhamal Otarsultanov won Olympic gold in the 55kg category of the freestyle wrestling tournament
Russia's double European champion Dzhamal Otarsultanov won Olympic gold in the 55kg category of the freestyle wrestling tournament on Friday.
Otarsultanov was made to fight all the way by Vladimer Khinchegashvili, who landed what would have been a gold medal-winning point a split second after the bout had ended.
Khinchegashvili's coach had an appeal turned down, costing his wrestler a point that made sure Otarsultanov clinched the gold.
"I felt responsible. My family and country were waiting for me to perform," said Otarsultanov.
It is Russia's fourth wrestling gold at these Olympics.
Khinchegashvili's silver was his country's fourth medal.
"I know I am only 21, but I feel sad because I had a chance to win a gold medal and that may not happen again," said Khinchegashvili.
"I hope I can compete at Rio, I want to go for the maximum."
Evgeniya Kanaeva took Gold & Daria Dimitrieva Silver in rhythmic gymnastics. Belarusian Charkashyna got Bronze.
Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko
Russian pair Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko blitzed the field for gold in the Olympic canoe sprint men's kayak double event on Saturday.
Postrigay and Dyachenko blazed away to win the sprint by a huge three-quarter-length margin in 33.507 seconds.
Belarus claimed silver through Raman Piatrushenka and Vadzim Makhneu in 34.266, while British pair Liam Heath and Jon Schofield taking bronze in 34.421.
The world champion French team was run out of it in fourth.
"It's a really tough competition. We've trained hard. It's the Olympics, and that's how it goes," said Postrigay.
Belarus' Piatrushenka lamented the blustery conditions
"The wind was head on. I went for it and I got a silver."
British kayaker Heath also found the going tough.
"With a headwind like that, it adds a few seconds on. It doesn't sound much but when you're going at that pace it really drags out. But I'm so pleased."
Sergey Kirdyapkin (left)
Sergey Kirdyapkin of Russia strolled to Olympic gold in the men's 50km walk on Saturday.
Kirdyapkin, a two-time world champion, posted an Olympic record time of three hours, 55 minutes and 59 seconds.
Australia's Jared Tallent retained the silver medal he won in Beijing a minute behind.
The bronze went to China Si Tianfeng, the Asian champion, in 3:37.16.
Maria Sharapova hasn't told her last word about her tennis. You have a rendezvous with her at Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Russia's Yelena Lashmanova won the women's 20km walk Olympic title on Saturday in a new world record of 1hr 25min 02sec.
The 19-year-old's late surge saw her pass longtime leader and defending champion Olga Kaniskina of Russia (1hr 25min 09sec) while China's Qieyang Shenjie set an Asian record in taking bronze (1hr 25min 16sec).
It was the first time Russia have taken gold and silver in the event and third time in six editions they have won the title.
Russia’s Mariya Savinova took Olympic gold in the women’s 800 meters final Saturday, edging out South Africa’s Caster Semenya as bronze also went to Russia.
Savinova, the reigning world champion, ran a time of 1 minute 56.19 and, while there was none of the record-breaking pace shown in the men’s final when Kenya’s David Rudisha smashed his own world record, there was plenty of drama.
Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo, the Olympic champion in 2008, turned on the pace too early and ended up fourth as Savinova, Semenya and third-placed Ekaterina Poistogova all passed her.
Savinova won by over a second from Semenya, with Poistogova edging out Jelimo in the final ten meters.
Czechoslovakian runner Jarmila Kratochvilova’s 29-year-old world record of 1.53.28 easily remained intact.
Russia's Anna Chicherova won an emotional Olympic gold medal in the women's high jump on Saturday, clearing 2.05 meters for victory.
Chicherova's triumph marks a Russian Olympic double in the high jump after Ivan Ukhov triumphed in the men's event.
Brigetta Barrett of the United States claimed the silver with a jump of 2.03.
Chicherova's fellow Russian Svetlana Shikolina made the same height but had to settle for bronze due to more failures in the competition.
Russia's 21st gold medal of the Olympics and eighth in track and field sent Chicherova into tears at the achievement.
Russia Wins First Olympic Basketball Medal With Bronze
Russia won its first Olympic basketball medal Sunday after a thrilling final decided in the last minute.
Russia beat 2004 Olympic champion Argentina 81-77, with Minnesota Timberwolves teammates Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko making 25 and 20 points respectively, as well as seven assists for Shved and eight rebounds for Kirilenko.
Argentina led 20-19 at the end of the first quarter, but the match changed when Russia went on a 12-0 streak in the second quarter, the Russians taking a lead they held for the rest of the match, barring a 30-second scare early in the fourth.
Just as in Argentina’ s 109-83 semifinal defeat to the United States, San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili was the South Americans’ top scorer, making 21 points.
The U.S. play Spain later Sunday in the final.
RUSSIA DESTROYED BRAZIL AND BECOMES THE OLYMPIC CHAMPION IN VOLLEYBALL 2012 AT THE FINAL.
All for One and One for All!
Brazil won the silver and Italy won the bronze.
Russia beat Brazil 3-2 (19-25, 20-25, 29-27, 25-22, 15-9).
Russia’s Yegor Mekhontsev won his country’s first boxing gold medal of the Olympics, beating Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov on a tie-break in the final.
The fight finished 15-15, with Mekhontsev given the win on countback.
It was the second time in two fights that Niyazymbetov had seen his bout go to a tie-break after he reached the final on countback after a controversial 13-13 result against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the semifinals.
In the first round, both Mekhontsev and Niyazymbetov landed good blows to the head with jabs, before the Kazakh fighter sent the Russia into the ropes with a hook to the side of the head.
The judges scored the first round 4-3 in Niyazymbetov’s favor.
Mekhontsev had the better of the second round, although the action remained fairly even as the Russian won 5-4.
Brazil’s Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino and Ukraine’s Gvozdyk took bronze after losing their semifinal bouts Friday.
Mekhontsev blitzed Falcao Florentino 23-11, while Niyazymbetov beat Gvozdyk on a countback tie-break after the fight ended 13-13.
Сборная России по художественной гимнастике
Russia emphatically captured the rhythmic gymnastics gold at the London Olympics on Sunday, finishing well clear of Belarus, who claimed silver.
The Russians won with a total score of 57.000 awarded 28.300 for their spectacular final performance with ribbons and hoops.
Belarus finished second with a total of 55.500 points after scoring 27.675 on the final rotation, enough to leapfrog Italy and take the silver.
Italy were awarded 27.325 in the final for a total of 55.450.
This was Russia's second gold in rhythmic gymnastics as Beijing gold medalist Evgenia Kanaeva defended her Olympic title in the individual all-around category on Saturday with four exquisite performances.
For Mrs Vera Shtelbaum, the London Olympic Games were her third. In 2004, her trainee Irina Chashchina won gold in Athens. In 2008, another of her trainees, Yevgenia Kanayeva, took gold in Beijing. In the inter-Olympic period, Vera Shtelbaum led Yevgenia Kanayeva to victories in a string of national, European and world championships. In London, Yevgenia Kanayeva became the world’s first two-time Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics.
Now the interview.
How did you manage to keep Yevgenia in a shape which enabled her to reap medals for 4 successive years?
"Careful planning allowed us to attain peak form in time for competitions. Moreover, Yevgenia is a very responsible person and also absolutely devoted to her sport. I’ve never had any problem with her."
What is the difference between London and Beijing, as far as you and Yevgenia are concerned?
"Beijing was very, very different. Yevgenia was just 17 at the time, and no one expected her to perform that brilliantly. Her Beijing gold came as a shock."
Is it realistic to expect Yevgenia to grab gold in Rio?
"In theory, it is quite realistic. On the ground, however, professional gymnastics is often associated with health problems, particularly spinal disorders. Aging is also a factor. There is also a possibility that Yevgenia will get married. Decisions of this kind are up to her."
Mrs Olga Buyanova has 40 years worth of coaching experience. Before London, her trainees took 16 awards at European and world championships. The London Olympic Games are her first, and they have brought gold to her trainee Darya Dmitriyeva.
How did you help Darya pass the stringent selection for the Olympics?
"We worked as usual, and I simply urged Darya to do her best. We fought very earnestly in every selection contest, and we did encounter problems. Darya suffered an injury, and it took her a month to recover from it. Her medical team included some of Irkutsk’s best surgeons. They are now part of our support fellowship. In London, Darya said she would be unhappy if she let them down."
How came that Darya was in lead at the end of day one of the qualification tournament?
"This was due to a blunder by Yevgenia Kanayeva. I didn’t attach any significance to Darya’s initial success. I knew very well that Yevgenia would make up for her failure and reach the finals. I wanted my trainee to show off and do everything in accordance with my instruction. The rest, including her medal, was a matter of luck."
Olga Buyanova says she believes Darya’s full potential is far from fulfilled, and better mastery of virtuoso turns would enable her to become a good replacement to Yevgenia Kanayeva, when the latter winds up her career in rhythmic gymnastics.
00:34 The athletes are coming into the stadium through the crowd.
They enter together rather than country by country - to signify world unity. This is a tradition started at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne after a suggestiong by a Chinese apprentice carpenter living in Australia called John Ian Wing.
00:27 KEY MOMENT- Flags enter the stadium
The parade of the athletes will be preceded by the entrance of the National Olympic Committee flags.
There is one flagbearer for each of the 204 countries, who took part in the Olympics - with sailor Ben Ainslie given the honour for Team GB. They will enter in single file and will then be followed by many of the Games' competitors.
00:26 A black cab pulls up and who gets out but Kinks frontman Ray Davies to perform his acclaimed song. Waterloo Sunset tells the tale of a pair of lovers Terry and Julie who meet at Waterloo station every Friday night and "are in paradise" gazing at the sunset while the busy city and the "dirty old river" rush by.
00:21 The day draws to a close - in a segment named after The Kinks' song Waterloo Sunset. But it starts with alarm clocks and The Beatles: A Day in the Life - all together now: "Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head..." Bounding on to the scene are 30 gymnasts from the acrobatic troupe Spellbound who rose to fame in 2010 through the Britain's Got Talent TV show.
00:19 Stomp are back ending this Street Party segment of the ceremony in fine percussive style before we move on to Waterloo Sunset, the part which represents the end of the day.
00:16 And from those veterans of the music scene to one of the newest acts - here's fresh-faced pop sensation One Direction with What Makes You Beautiful.
00:14 Now it's another evocative song about London: the Pet Shop Boys performing their 1984 track West End Girls. It was written in response to TS Eliot's 1922 poem The Waste Land, literary fact fans.
The 130m wide union jack artwork on the floor is by Damien Hirst and has an almost as long name: "Beautiful Union Jack Celebratory Patriotic Olympic Explosion in an Electric Storm Painting".
It's one of his spin paintings and is the largest reproduction of a Hirst work ever produced.
00:12 And in the 1982 video for Our House, Madness's saxophonist Lee Thompson flies into the air as he performs his solo: and he does again tonight.
00:10 The whole stadium are singing God Save The Queen!
00:09 As silence descends a fanfare from the Household Division Ceremonial State Band announces the arrival of Prince Harry and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge.
Prince Harry is representing the Queen tonight. He's praised the athletes who competed, saying: "They have shown us that there are few boundaries to human endeavour." He also paid tribute to the thousands of people who prepared the teams for competition and those who brought the London Games to fruition. The efforts of the volunteers - Games Makers - had been "supreme".
This is Rogge's last closing ceremony as IOC president as the former Olympic sailor is stepping down after 11 years at the helm.
00:07 It's got very, very noisy here with a cacophony of horns, drilling and shouts. We need an authoritative figure to shut everyone up - ah Churchill, he'll do!
00:03 This first section is called Rush Hour and it has a newsprint theme to it - with everything wrapped in the morning's papers. Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé is unwrapped on a newspaper rubbish truck to sing Read All About it which was a number one hit last year for Professor Green, with Emeli as a featured artist.
As you may recall, Emeli performed at the opening ceremony, with a spine-tingling rendition of Abide With Me, in tribute to the victims of the terror attacks in London on 7 July 2005. Her single Heaven was also used during one of the dance segments.
00:01 It's showtime! A cheer goes up as the bongs of Big Ben ring out, counted in unison by the crowd of 80,000 here in the stadium.
The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games will provide an opportunity for the world to view the artistic expression of Artistic Director Kim Gavin, his team and the culture of the Host City and the UK. It will be titled "A Symphony of British Music," to celebrate the fact that music has been one of Britain’s strongest cultural exports over the last 50 years. The worldwide broadcast of the Ceremony will feature more than 4,100 performers, including 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 schoolchildren from the six east London Host Boroughs.
- 2012 Olympics closing ceremony: ‘A symphony of British music'
Many of the ceremony’s details are being withheld from the general public much like Danny Boyle’s awe-inspiring Opening Ceremony. Yet, some of those “globally successful musicians” have already been confirmed, including British rockers Muse, who will be performing their Olympic-inspired song “Survival.” Also confirmed to pay tribute to British music over the past 50 years are the Spice Girls, Adele, the Who, and members of Pink Floyd.
Unlike the Opening Ceremony in which athletes march according to their nationality, the Closing Ceremony’s March of the Athletes has all the competitors march together in a single file line as a sign of solidarity between the countries.
Anastasia Davydova, the only five-times Olympic champion in the history of synchronous swimming, will carry the Russian flag at the closing ceremony, the Russian Olympic Committee’s press-service reports.
- Davydova to carry Russian flag at Olympic closing ceremony
After the March of the Athletes three flags will be raised while the corresponding national anthem is played. First, the Greek flag to honor the birthplace of the Games, then the flag of the host nation, and finally the flag of the next host nation, Brazil in 2016, is raised.
After the raising of the flags, London Mayor Boris Johnson will symbolically return the Olympic flag to IOC President Jacques Rogge who, in turn, will hand the flag over to the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes. Rogge then declares the Games officially over and the flame which has burned in the cauldron since the Opening Ceremony will be put out.
Official London 2012 website, Yahoo! Sports, BBC Sport, RIA