Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu, who grew up minutes from the Olympic Stadium, won a silver medal in the women’s 400m on Sunday night following a late charge that took her from sixth to second.
The reigning Olympic champion, who has struggled with injuries and poor form since her surprise victory in Beijing four years ago, was roared down the home straight and narrowly failed to overtake the US winner, Sanya Richards-Ross.
As in Beijing, Ohuruogu delivered on the big occasion to run the second fastest time of her life and finish two-hundredths of a second ahead of DeeDee Trotter.
Continuing the run of success at the London Games for Britain’s female athletes, Ohuruogu’s silver was vindication for her dedication in battling through three years of troublesome injuries and a frustrating world championships in Daegu, when she was disqualified for a false start.
For Richards-Ross, victory represented revenge for four years ago when Ohuruogu chased her down in the closing stages.
Ohuruogu, who has spoken of the need for an Olympic legacy in nearby Stratford, where she grew up, had joked that she would pop round to her mum’s for a cup of tea after the race.
Triple jumper Yamilé Aldama was unable to add to the haul of British medals following Saturday’s run of three golds. To loud cheers, she improved as the night went on and jumped 14.48m with her final attempt, but finished outside the medals. With heavy strapping on her right shoulder due to an injury sustained in Rome in May, where she jumped a season’s best 14.65m, she finished fifth. The Cuban-born athlete, who has lived in Britain for 11 years and is married to a Scot, battle for a decade to get a British passport.
Amid a bubbling atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium, where the crowd had already been warmed up by watching long jumper Greg Rutherford and 10,000m champion Mo Farah receive their medals, Oscar Pistorius also took his final bow of the Olympic Games. Drawn alongside Jonathan Borlée, the Belgian who posted the fastest time in the first round, the athlete known as Blade Runner finished last in his heat in 46.54.
Grenadian Kirani James, who won Pistorius’s heat, embraced the South African and exchanged bib numbers with him afterwards.
His appearance in the first round on Friday, when Pistorius became the first double amputee to compete in the Games, produced a media scrum in the mixed zone even greater than that for the British gold medallists on Saturday. He said then that his target coming into the Olympics was to make it to the semi-finals, and departed the stadium to loud cheers.
Pistorius, who had both his legs amputated at the age of 11 months, narrowly failed to qualify for the Beijing Games after fighting a legal battle against the International Association of Athletics Federations to be able to compete. He will be back in the 80,000 capacity stadium, which for the last three days has been blessed with a string of memorable moments, for the Paralympics later this month.