, by FARAAZ ANJUM
After 17 days of adrenaline pumped action, the 2012 Summer Olympics is over. Records were broken like never before and teams were scavenging for medals like hawks for food. The tournament kicked off with the preliminary rounds of the women football on the 25th July. This led up to the official opening ceremony where Queen Elizabeth II, who recently became the second monarch to last 60 years on the throne, opened the ceremony. This was the start of a tournament never to forget.
It wasn’t long before record began to break, after a matter of hours Im Dong-Hyun of South Korea broke the world record in archery in only the first round. Many players and teams enjoyed success in the earlier stages with China taking an early lead over rival countries.
Not only were there records on the field but off field too. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games every participating country including Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia had a female athlete in their squad. Also the women’s boxing made its debut. This meant every event had a female participating. After a lot of discussion, protesting and threatening to withdraw; Saudi’s female athletes were allowed to participate in their events with their hair covered (hijab).
Great Britain, though having made a slow starts, eventually found form and finished in 3rd position with 29 gold medals. This was their best performance in terms of gold medals achieved for over a century. Rebecca Aldington brought Britain their first medal in the women’s 200m final with silver. Sir Chris Hoy became GB’s most successful athlete after winning two gold medals and a silver in Cycling.
Great Britain brought success in many events but especially excelled in rowing and cycling. They achieved their first medal in Gymnastic Artistic and even the Queen grand-daughter, Zara Phillips, enjoyed glory with her team mates in show jumping.
In the early stages of the tournament catastrophe struck when North Korea played Colombia in a group match. When announcing the line ups the officials accidently placed a South Korean flag next to the North Korean players. This resulted in the North Korean players refusing to come out onto the pitch. After about an hour of drama the team members were convinced and came out to play.
Many athletes shone in their own way. Jamaica’s hero, Usain Bolt became the first athlete to retain all three sprinting titles in succession tournament. Michael Phelps is officially the most decorated player in the history of the games. And USA swimming department scored a record amount of medals. All athletes hit their potential marks and impressed the viewers all over the world.
India, though not winning any gold medals, won six medals their best in Olympic history. Saina Nehwal won bronze in badminton and was the only non-Chinese to make the semi-finals. On the shooting front they were rewarded with both silver and bronze medals, Vijay Kumar with the silver. And the side was very successful in wrestling too. A disappointing performance of the Indian tennis squad resulted in no improvement to their tally of medals. It seemed the pre-tournament scenario, where players were unable to choose their partner resulted in India finishing joint 53rd.
Throughout the tournament the performance of Muslim athletes was impressive. GB’s own Mo (Mohammad) Farah won Gold in both the 5,000 and 10,000m races beating stamina-packed Ethiopians and Kenyans. Overall Muslim countries won an astounding 16 golds, just as many silvers and 33 bronze medals. Kazakhstan themselves won 13 medals and Iran and Azerbaijan scored 12 and 10 podium finishes respectively. Tunisia was successful in the swimming events and Turkey shook the martial arts department. Overall it was a great contribution by the Muslims and, like all other athletes, will seek for better fortune next time round.
The tournament was completed on the 12th of August with the top three teams being USA, China and GB respectively. The closing ceremony bought as much entertainment as the rest of the tournament before the torch was given to the mayor of Rio De Janerio, the host city of the next Games.
A very successful tournament had ended and the parties for team GB begun. So many records were shattered by this immense, talented generation of athletes, so what not to party about. The teams headed home and created another record, Heathrow airport’s busiest day ever. They just can’t stop breaking records.