Host City: London, Great Britain
Date Started: August 3, 2012
Date Finished: August 11, 2012
Participants: 2,080 (1,088 men and 992 women) from 201 countries
Youngest Participant: Cristina Llovera (15 years, 307 days)
Oldest Participant: Oleksandr Dryhol (46 years, 101 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 5 athletes with 3 medals
Most Medals (Country): United States (29 medals)
With the exception of the marathons and the road walks, track & field athletics took place at the Olympic Stadium within the Olympic Park. There were no changes to the program since the 2008 Olympic Games, with men and women competing in almost an identical program, the only differences being that men contest two walks and women only one, the high hurdles are different distances – 100 metres for women and 110 metres for men, and women compete in the multi-event heptathlon while men compete in the decathlon.
The highlight occurred on the first Saturday night of athletics competition when British fans rocked as their athletes won three gold medals within 45 minutes. Jessica Ennis first won the heptathlon, completing the event with her 800 metre run, followed by an upset victory by Greg Rutherford in the men’s long jump. The evening finished with Mo Farah winning the 10,000 metres followed by the deafening roar of the British crowd.
There were three world records set on what was considered a very fast track. David Rudisha won the 800 metres, becoming the first runner to complete the distance under 1:41. Both 4x100 relay world records were ripped asunder, by the Jamaican men and the American women. Usain Bolt again starred, repeating his 3-gold medals from Beijing in the 100 metres, 200 metres, and 4x100 relay. The only other individual double gold medalist was Farah, who on the final night of athletics competition, won the 5,000 metres, again before an adoring crowd.