FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY: ‘God Save the Queen’ played three times in Olympic Stadium yesterday thanks to tremendous efforts by Great Britains track and field athletes. Photo courtesy Stu Forster/Getty Images

This weekend, in a number of visible ways, marks the transition between the first and second half of these Olympic games. As swimming winds down, track and field heats up, and they aren’t the only two tagging in and out.

The end product is this beautiful weekend where almost every Olympic sport is in action. So let’s not wait any longer and get to our look back at Saturday’s events.

Imperial Expansion: Team GB Racks Up the Medals

Name some sports Great Britain is good at. Cycling. Check. Rowing. Gotcha. Track and Field. Wait, what?

If you believe in the theory every host nation sees a significant boosts in the number of medals it wins compared to other Olympics, the Queen’s land got started on Saturday inside the Olympic Stadium. In a span of less than an hour, the British racked up three track and field gold medals.

It started with Greg Rutherford. In the Men’s Long Jump Final, the 25-year-old flew a distance of 8.31 meters, a stellar mark that, as every succeeding jumper fell short, proved to be the evening’s best.

But as Rutherford launched himself into the sand, Jessica Ennis’ name was being blasted in the stadium. The British track and field athlete was being introduced in the final event of the Women’s Heptathlon, the 800-Meter. Ennis was leading the field, but saved Olympic mathematicians any further headaches by winning the final event and cementing her gold.

Then, some 45 minutes later, British runner Mo Farah took her place on the track in the Men’s 10,000 Meter Final. Spoiler alert: he also took good thanks in large part to an astonishing 53-second lap that shot put him ahead of American Galen Rupp. As it turns out, Rupp also happens to be Farah’s training partner.

 

RACKETING SCHEME: Serena finally got one of those things her sister had that she wanted so badly: an Olympic gold medal. Photo courtesy Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Wimbledon Whipping: Serena Crushes Sharapova For Gold

We’re still waiting to hear if  a warrant will be issued by The Hague for Serena Williams for what she did to Maria Sharapova at the All England Club on Wednesday.

The matchup of a Williams sister versus Sharapova spelled one of the most high-profile women’s tennis matches ever played for the singles gold medal, but it certainly didn’t prove to be a fair fight. Serena skunked Sharapova in the first set 6-0 as she fired a barrage winners that left the Russian with a serious case of shell shock.

In the second set, Sharapova did get on the board, but things weren’t much prettier. Williams racked up three set points before Sharapova finally won a game. But, by then, Serena had already won nine out of ten games and the small victory proved to do nothing more than delay the inevitable.

Williams gave Team USA another gold medal in a little over an hour. This, in contrast, to Roger Federer’s exhausting 4-hour marathon on Friday, and you can see why Serena had enough energy left over to give her sister and the rest of the crowd a little victory dance.

Phelps Takes One More Gold Into Olympic Retirement

The best just keep getting better. As if there was any doubt, Phelps further proved Saturday night that his failing to medal in the Men’s 400-Metre Individual Medley was nothing more than a fluke as he grabbed his record 18th career gold medal.

The milestone came in what is almost certainly to be Phelps’ last race, the Men’s 4X100-Metre Individual Medley Relay. The man people called the ‘Baltimore Bullet’ swam what has always been his strongest stroke, the butterfly, for his leg of the relay.

Matt Grevers, who won gold in the 100-Metre Backstroke, swam said stroke in Saturday’s relay while Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian swam the breaststroke and freestyle legs, respectively. Halfway through, Team USA was only second. But almost as if it was scripted, Phelps entered the pull and wrestled the lead away from the field as the Americans held off Australia and Japan.

 

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: Thanks to LeBron James’ late-game heroics, Team USA avoided a devastating loss. Photo courtesy Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After Nigeria Rout, Lithuania Nearly Stuns Team USA

Everyone knows an Olympic Games, like any season in any team sport, has its highs and lows. Well Team USA went from the highest of highs to nearly and unthinkable low as a Lithuania team with nothing to lose almost pulled off what surely would have been one of the biggest upsets of these Olympic games.

Let’s consider this for a moment: the men’s basketball team — often dubbed the second Dream Team — went from beating Nigeria by 83 points to needing a fourth-quarter rally against Lithuania in roughly 48 hours. Did they think the points somehow carried over?

No, what happened is the Americans got caught flatfooted while the Lithuanians played out of their minds. Nevertheless, the US basketball team — considered heavy gold medal favorites — looks a whole lot more mortal as the sun rises Sunday morning.

The one interesting note here was how LeBron James came through for the red, white, and blue. Playing back in the states, he got a bum rap for being that player that could never come through for you in the clutch. On Saturday, 11 of James’ 20 points came in the final four minutes.

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NOTE: This story was also published on SportsHead, where its author originated it. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing he is on Twitter! Make sure you follow him @bclienesch for Olympic updates and other shenanigans!