As 2012 comes to an end we reflect on what an epic year it’s been for the sport
“These were happy and glorious Games,” said IOC president Jacques Rogge at the London 2012 closing ceremony.
Well said, Mr Rogge.
Ah, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. That six-week period that cemented this year as the greatest ever for British sport.
GB’s track and field stars secured an impressive 35 medals in London (six at the Olympics, 29 at the Paralympics), and along with them, a lifetime of memories.
But great things didn’t just occur within those six weeks in 2012. Far too much has happened this year for us to mention everything in depth in this one article, so we’ve gathered links to AW coverage from 2012 to allow you to reminisce and reflect at your leisure. Enjoy!
» It was not much of a surprise when Asbel Kiprop prevailed in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross-Country 3km invitational race, but Jonny Hay’s silver in his first race as a senior wasn’t quite so expected.
» Holly Bleasdale obliterated the UK pole vault record in Lyon, while Robbie Grabarz set a world-leading high jump mark in Wuppertal.
» Team GB took a commanding victory from Russia and the United States at the Aviva International in Glasgow, with Mo Farah setting a stadium record of 3:39.03 in the 1500m.
» Seven British victories were celebrated by a full house at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix in a month that also saw the historic 125th English National Cross Country Champs hit by a heatwave, with Gemma Steel and Keith Gerrard taking virgin victories.
» The first weekend presented noteworthy results from opposite ends of the age spectrum. Twenty-year-old Sophie Hitchon became the first British woman to break through 70 in the hammer with 70.40m, while Anthony Whiteman set a world indoor masters’ record of 3:44.12 in the 1500m.
» Strong performances from the GB team at the World Indoor Championships saw them secure nine medals and finish second on the medal table behind the US. Yamilé Aldama’s impressive 14.82m in the triple jump – her best in six years – saw her win her first global title five months shy of her 40th birthday, while memories of the 1991 World Championships came flooding back with GB’s thrilling victory in the women’s 4x400m.
» Wilson Kipsang secured one of the most decisive victories in Virgin London Marathon history and Claire Hallissey snapped up the third spot on the Olympic team by finishing top Brit in the women’s race.
» The Mt SAC Relays saw Lawrence Okoye kick off the first day with a world-leading discus throw before Sophie Hitchon improved her own British record in the hammer, while Adam Gemili opened with a 10.23 100m PB in Gainesville.
» In a vintage month for British athletics, Lawrence Okoye set a UK discus record of 68.24m in Halle while Greg Rutherford equalled the British long jump record in California.
» Andy Pozzi posted one of the best perfornamces in BUCS Championships history by winning the 110m hurdles in a European age-19 best of 13.35 which confirmed the Olympic Stadium track as a fast one.
» After losing two world titles within seven months, Jess Ennis resumed her dominance in Götzis with a score of 6906.
» Despite only dedicating himself to athletics at the beginning of the year, Adam Gemili stormed to a European age-18 best of 10.08 in Regensburg and went on to run the fastest time by a British junior since 1998 in the 200m with 20.61 in Bedford.
» Katarina Johnson-Thompson sealed Olympic heptathlon selection with her ‘A’ standard UK junior record of 6248 in Kladno, while the Aviva Olympic Trials in Birmingham hosted a dramatic weekend of action with selection for many events far from a foregone conclusion.
» TV audiences peaked at a staggering 26.9 million viewers for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony with the British athletes tuning in from their training camp in Monte Gordo.
» Two words – ‘Super Saturday’.
» Usain Bolt may have been the star of the show on the third day of athletics at London 2012, but there was plenty for the host nation to cheer for too as Christine Ohuruogu came within inches of defending her Olympic 400m title, taking silver behind Sanya Richards-Ross.
» Later that month Farah continued his winning ways with victory over two miles at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix in a modest 8:27.24 as Robbie Grabarz came out on top in the high jump.
» From ‘Super Saturday’ to ‘Thrilling Thursday’ as Hannah Cockroft, David Weir and Jonnie Peacock contributed to Paralympics GB’s total of 11 gold medals.
» The British team finished fourth in the women’s race at the IAAF World Half-marathon Championships in Kavarna thanks to strong performances from Gemma Steel and Caryl Jones.
» Jo Pavey took the women’s top honour at the Bupa Great South Run, finishing 43 seconds ahead of Jess Coulson in 53:00.
» But the positive run didn’t continue for Pavey who, having said her preparations had gone perfectly, was devastated to drop out of the Yokohama Marathon following an illness.
» There were surprises at the GB Euro Cross Trials as athletes challenged for spots at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest.
» Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers claimed the top club honour in the annual AW/Ronhill Club Awards while Mo Farah and Jess Ennis were voted by AW readers as international man and woman in the the Readers’ Choice Awards.
» Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton defended her title in style at the Euro Cross Country Championships while every GB athlete in Hungary won a medal.
» Jess Ennis finished runner-up at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, as Lord Seb Coe and Usain Bolt also received honours.
» December also saw Ennis receive further recognition, this time alongside Mo Farah and David Weir, as the trio were rewarded in a London 2012 sporting stars-dominant New Year Honours List.