London 2012 Olympics: Pundits give their greatest moments

 

Over 16 days, covering countless events and disciplines, BBC Sport pundits and commentators have experienced some of the greatest moments of the London Olympics. Here, they share the memories that will remain foremost in their minds.

Archery

Commentator Eddie Butler

"There seems to be a move to lighten things up in archery between shots and matches, and Aida Roman and Mariana Avitia of Mexico beamed their way to the gold and bronze medal finals in the women's individual competition.

Mexicans in the 5,000 crowd at Lord's came in fancy dress each day and created one fine fiesta. Avitia finished third and Roman lost to gold medallist Ki Bo Bae of South Korea in the grand final in a one-arrow shoot-off after they were tied at the end of regular play. Ki shot an eight and so did Roman, but the Korean's arrow was closer to the centre. Avitia and Roman carried on beaming, while Ki Bo Bae cried and apologised to South Korea for winning with a humble eight."

Athletics

Three-time Olympic javelin medallist and BBC Sport pundit Steve Backley

"Greg Rutherford's long jump gold. I know what he's been through and he's a lovely guy.

Greg Rutherford

Greg Rutherford becomes the first British man to claim long jump gold since Lynn 'the leap' Davies in 1964

Six years ago he was second in the European Championships in Gothenburg and I saw something in him then. He only needed to stay in shape and get it right once and to do it on home soil was extra special. Greg has had so much bad luck with injuries, but this time everything seemed to go in his favour with Dwight Phillips absent, Irving Saladino going out in qualifying and Mitchell Watt not being able to get his run-up right. It was almost as if the long jump gods owed him something and they repaid him with the biggest prize of all."

Badminton

2004 Olympic silver medallist and BBC Sport pundit Gail Emms

"My best badminton moment has to be the presentation ceremony of the women's doubles event. After all the drama, scandal and controversy that had happened earlier in the week, six women got their medals for playing their best no matter what was put in front of them.

Gold went to Zhao Yunlei and Tian Qingand, and Zhao was in tears. She won gold in the mixed doubles too - the first person to win two events in badminton. She was so overwhelmed that she gathered the Russian girls for support who had won the bronze and it all resulted in one big bear hug as the Japanese girls also got involved. I guess for me, these girls wouldn't necessarily have been on the podium but with sport, you can never predict what is going to happen and in the end, it felt right."

Beach Volleyball

Commentator Ed Leigh

"USA v Latvia. This game was one of the last of the night and the crowd were on fine form.

USA beach volleyball

The USA take on Latvia in beach volleyball

Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal were slipping for the first time against Latvians Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins two points adrift at the end of the deciding third set when they called a time-out to try to get back in the game. It was an incredibly tense moment but in the midst of this there was a 200-person conga doing a lap of the stadium and deep in concentration Rosenthal looked up and did a full double take at the human chain and allowed himself a little smile. The Americans went on to lose, whether or not it was the fault of the conga we'll never know but for me it summed up the atmosphere of Horse Guards perfectly."

Boxing

1988 Olympic medallist and BBC Sport boxing commentator Richie Woodhall

GB's boxer Anthony Ogogo

GB's Ogogo beats world number one

"Anthony Ogogo's mum was taken seriously ill about seven weeks ago and there was a time when he thought about not boxing at the Olympics because she was so poorly. Also, he dislocated his shoulder last year which disrupted his preparation. But he showed great mental strength and for him to win that bronze medal that is a sensational story. To beat the world number one, Ievgen Khytrov, when he's not even ranked in the top 15, that was the best performance by a British boxer and a moment I will always remember."

Canoeing

Olympic bronze medallist and BBC canoeing analyst Helen Reeves

"It's got to be Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott's gold medal in the canoe slalom double event. They started off last in the final, laid down a marker and then had to go through the agony of watching everyone else go through and try to beat them.

HIGHLIGHT

It was the first gold medal for canoe slalom and the reaction from Stott was just incredible. There's no one more excitable than him. They both jumped in the water afterwards, along with David Florence and Richard Hounslow who won silver for a British one-two, and you could see how much it meant to them. It was just one of those magical moments. The Olympics are where dreams are made and for Baillie and Stott, theirs came true."

Cycling

BBC Sport cycling reporter Jill Douglas

Sir Chris Hoy

Sir Chris Hoy claims historic sixth gold

"Having seen eight British gold medal-winning performances here, it's hard to pick out one highlight but it has to be Sir Chris Hoy's keirin ride. He has given us all so many amazing memories and it was such an emotional afternoon with Laura Trott securing her second gold and Victoria Pendleton bowing out with a silver. It was a real thrill to "hide" Sir Steve Redgrave in our mixed zone interview position and reveal him to Sir Chris Hoy after he had collected his medal. I said to Chris there's someone here who wants to know what it's like a win a sixth gold medal...."

Diving

2004 Olympic silver medallist and BBC Sport diving commentator Leon Taylor

"My moment of the Games would have to be the relief I felt for Tom Daley when he nailed his final dive of the 10m final, because I knew the moment he hit the water he was on the podium. He had fulfilled the potential I saw in him when he was 10 years old and it was a very special moment for me to witness. Later he shared his medal with me the same way I shared mine with him eight years ago and it was an amazing moment."

Equestrian

Commentator John Hunt

Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Bechtolsheimer

Dressage gold and bronze for GB

"I've been watching horses, usually racing, all my life - and my youngest daughter has never taken a blind bit of interest. But after Charlotte Dujardin rode to victory in the Olympic individual dressage final, my youngster daughter texted me to say: 'Her horse is so cute!' I've never had that reaction from her about horses all my life. It's remarkable for a girl like mine, just into her teens with no prior reaction to equine sport at all, to text me having watched that, and reactions like those will do a power of good for the sport."

Fencing

Commentator Karim Bashir

"My favourite moment of the Games had to be Britain's valiant effort against the world number one team, Italy, in the men's team foil. Having beaten Egypt in the round of 16, James Davis, Laurence Halsted, Richard Kruse and Ahmed Rosowsky faced Italy in the quarter-finals - and nobody gave them a chance as the Italians dominate both men's and women's foil.

HIGHLIGHT

After three matches they were 15-11 down but still in the fight. On came James Davis and he set the crowd alight with a 9-4 win over the world number two, Valerio Aspromonte, taking GB to 20-19. Sadly they were unable to get the better of the Italians who went on to win the gold medal but boy did they give them a scare. There is now no doubt that the UK Lottery funding has made a huge difference to the elite performance of British Fencing. We will bridge the gap to the podium on the way to Rio 2016. In the meantime, fencing has picked up a huge following of new fans in the UK thanks to the awesome coverage."

Football

Former England captain and BBC Sport summariser Faye White

"My favourite moment of the Olympic football tournament has to be the match and whole occasion surrounding Britain's last group game against Brazil at Wembley.

HIGHLIGHT

GB v Brazil

To see Wembley packed to the rafters with a record crowd (for a women's match in this country at that time) of 70,584 was amazing to witness, and an occasion that I and many within the women's game have been dreaming of for many years. It was amazing to see the team's 1-0 performance live up to expectations. It gained many new plaudits and finally showcased the high level of talented female players and role models we have in this country to a whole new audience."

Gymnastics

Commentator Matt Baker

Great Britain's Beth Tweddle

Olympic women's gymnastics: Tweddle wins bronze on uneven bars

"Seeing Beth Tweddle get her Olympic medal was just a dream come true for her. We've followed her for so long and she's done so well on the world stage and done so much for British gymnastics. Four British medals at the Olympics is hard to put into context. It was incredibly exciting and, overall, across the entire competition, it was the best display of gymnastics we've ever seen. The way the scoring is with execution and difficulty the gymnasts are really pushing themselves so we were spoiled for magical moments."

Handball

Commentator Paul Bray

HIGHLIGHT

Hungary v Iceland

"My favourite moment would have to be Hungary's quarter-final win against Iceland after double extra-time. Iceland were one goal up in normal time and were awarded a penalty 12 seconds from the end. But the Hungarian goalkeeper saved it and Hungary went on to score with two seconds left to level the match, before going on to win after double-extra time. Hungarian coach Lajos Mocsai did a lovely jig at the end in the middle of his players."

Hockey

Olympic gold medallist Sean Kerly

GB men suffer heavy hockey defeat

GB men suffer heavy hockey defeat

"I have to say the stand-out moment from the whole fortnight of hockey was the Netherlands men beating Great Britain 9-2 in the semi-final. It was a highlight for the Dutch, an unbelievable triumph for them, and it was very much a lowlight being a Briton and a proud ex-GB international. I loved the hockey but the occasion was one that I won't want to remember in terms of British hockey."

Judo

Commentator Nick Mullins

"The moment Gemma Gibbons knew she was going to win a gold or silver medal after winning her semi-final. She fell to her knees and looked up to say 'I love you mum'. It was the perfect moment at the perfect time.

HIGHLIGHT

It had been an otherwise miserable week for British Judo with all of their fighters failing to impress. The chairman had even written off their chances, but here was a home-grown girl from just across the river inspired by her mother who wasn't there to see it. It had everything."

Rowing

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave

Great Britain's Kath Grainger and Anna Watkins power to a sensational double scull gold at Eton Dorney.

Grainger and Watkins win gold for GB

"My most special moment of the Games was seeing Katherine Grainger win gold. Speaking to people in the build-up to the games, they all wanted Katherine to win. It's just a great story. She's just such a great person and such an outstanding athlete. She's a six-time world champion but before the Games only a three-time Olympic silver medallist so you do start thinking 'is this ever going to happen?' After Beijing, she decided to carry on to London. Four years is a long time to carry the heartache of three silvers and so many things could go wrong - but she did it. Her performance in the heats with Anna Watkins was brilliant and she delivered in the final under all that pressure. Finally, her time has come and she deserved it."

Sailing

Commentator Richard Simmonds

"The best moment was Ben Ainslie, standing in his boat, arms aloft, as the crowd on the shore belted out "Land of Hope and Glory". Ben was the first person to carry the torch in the relay and everyone said he was a dead certainty for gold. If he had won gold easily everyone would have said 'well done' but we expected it. But the build-up turned into pure theatre.

HIGHLIGHT

Here was Ainslie trying to become the greatest Olympic sailor of all time, trying to beat Dane Paul Elvstrom, but he was made to battle right to the end against another Dane, Jonas Hogh-Christensen. Then he so nearly lost out to the wildcard from the Netherlands, Pieter-Jan Postma. But the relief on his face, after that massive expectation, when he stood in front of that crowd and heard them singing - it was like Last Night of the Proms. I've never ever heard that in sailing. He told me it was the greatest moment of his life."

Shooting

Commentator David Oates

"Given we didn't even have a single other Briton into a shooting final, for Peter Wilson to not only get to the final but win gold was fantastic. He did it so dramatically too. He had always looked like winning it until a double miss towards the end.

HIGHLIGHT

It looked like the pressure had got to him. But he recovered his composure. I'm sure many more medals will be won at the Commonwealths in Glasgow as both England and Scotland have potentially good, young shooters. The sport lost a lot of funding after Beijing 2008 because of poor performance but hopefully funding will be forthcoming post-Games."

Swimming

Former world champion and BBC swimming pundit Karen Pickering

Chad le Clos beats Michael Phelps to 200m butterfly gold

Phelps denied gold in dramatic finish

"My moment of the Games is the moment that Chad Le Clos touched the wall by a tiny, tiny fraction of a second before Michael Phelps [to claim 200m butterfly gold]. It was the legend handing over his butterfly mantle to the 'young pup' of South Africa. It was particularly poignant because Michael Phelps has won so many races by executing the perfect finish, most notably in the 100m butterfly four years ago and this time around he just didn't get that right and somebody else did. It was slightly ironic that he lost his title because of that but it was just a beautiful moment to see someone coming through and ready to take over that butterfly charge."

Synchronised swimming

Commentator Andrea Holland

"My favourite moment from the synchro pool was the team final and battle for silver and bronze podium places between China and Spain. Both had sensational, high risk, acrobatic moves performed to perfection. The artistic interpretation was stunning to watch - Spain with their 'Ocean' routine and China with 'Butterflies'. Intricate movements and choreography at its very best, but also extremely difficult technical content. Spain just edged China into bronze in the duet but it was the opposite in teams with China taking the silver medal - I will never forget their reaction when the results were shown."

Table Tennis

Commentator Ian Marshall

HIGHLIGHT

"Japan won their first ever table tennis medal when the trio of Kasumi Ishikawa, Ai Fukuhara and Sayaka Hirano clinched silver in the women's team event. In the semi-final they beat Singapore, the silver medallists in Beijing four years earlier and the world champions in 2010. That was Japan's 'gold medal' match. They rose to the occasion and won by three matches to nil. In the final taking on China was a monumental task. The Chinese were a class above everybody."

Taekwondo

Former British taekwondo fighter and summariser John Cullen

Jade Jones

Jones battles to taekwondo gold

"I think overall in the taekwondo arena an Olympic gold medal for Great Britain for Jade Jones was just tremendous. She never put a foot wrong all day and just gave her opponents a torrid time. The way that she grabbed gold was exceptional and I think that it brought public awareness to taekwondo and into everyone's living rooms. For just a young girl from Flint in Wales to produce such a stunning victory - Youth Olympic champion and now Olympic champion - was just spectacular. The motto of the Games is to 'inspire a generation' and she has done just that."

Tennis

Former British number one and BBC Sport commentator Andrew Castle

"Friday evening at Wimbledon and the Centre Court crowd was buzzing after Roger Federer had beaten Juan Martin Del Potro 19-17 in the third set after four-and-a-half hours to advance to the gold medal match. Serena Williams had dismissed her semi-final opponent quickly and now was Andy Murray's time.

Could he beat world number two Novak Djokovic to guarantee a medal and set up the dream final with Federer? Murray won in straight sets resisting all that the great Serbian could throw at him. The roar after he ripped his return of serve to claim the win was the loudest I have ever heard at Wimbledon. Tim Henman and I looked at each other with a big smile and raised eyebrows. We knew that Sunday would be fun."

Triathlon

Commentator Steve Trew

Alistair Brownlee wins triathlon gold

Alistair Brownlee wins triathlon gold

"Alistair and Jonny Brownlee's two medals in the men's triathlon were sensational. Britain's first ever triathlon medals were won in a manner that demonstrated to the world just how good and competitive the brothers are, and how good British triathlon is. Alistair won with that turn of speed on the run after a big effort early on the bike, coupled with Jonny's bronze after serving a 15-second penalty. They are truly all-round athletes; no weaknesses, all strengths, and they are just two nice young gentlemen in the old-fashioned sense of the word."

Volleyball

Commentator Jonathan Legard

"Volleyball's Russian hardman, Sergey Tetyukhin, took a ball full in the face at 60 mph and didn't bat an eyelid. Hollywood career beckons as a James Bond villain."

Water Polo

BBC Sport pundit Lisa Knights

"For me it has to be the oldest trick in the water polo handbook that almost won Hungary their first Olympic medal. With six seconds left of normal time and the Australians leading by one goal and on the verge of their third Olympic medal, Hungary's Dora Antal had the presence of mind to swim across the pool underwater to sneak up on Alicia McCormack.

She pounced on her, stole the ball from under her nose and backhanded it into the Aussie net. The buzzer sounded just as Antal released her shot but the goal stood. The Australians though won 13-11 in the end and denied Hungary, once again of that first Olympic glory. The drama of that equaliser was incredible."

Wrestling

BBC commentator Colin Bryce

First wrestling gold for USA

First wrestling gold for USA

"It has to be Jordan Burroughs. He absolutely destroyed everybody in his weight category to take the United States's first gold. He's got a great back story too. He grew up on the mean streets of New Jersey but he was plucked out by a coach who gave him a chance and the rest is history."

Weightlifting

BBC commentator Colin Bryce

"Zoe Smith, nailing a British record in front of raucus home support, made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, but that was topped by the reigning Olympic champion in the men's 94kg class.

HIGHLIGHT

Ilya Ilyin, who had already retained his title on his second clean and jerk and called for a new world record lift of 233kg, was pure theatre. He brought the house down when he popped it overhead with such ease it begged the question - how much more could he do if he was actually pushed. He almost never fails a lift and has never been beaten in competition.