With six track and field events being decided today, our Bleacher Report scoreboard is beginning to take on some significance. If you remember from Friday's article, we are stepping beyond the typical medals count and scoring the top eight places for each event—much like the scoring in a collegiate or high school championship track meet.This should give us a much more accurate picture of team strength.
Today, we have the updated scores and team standings, along with analysis. But first, let's recap the finals action from Day 8.
It was Great Britain's golden night as Jessica Ennis (heptathlon), Greg Rutherford (long jump), and Mo Farah (10,000 meters) coaxed three thunderous roars out of the Olympic Stadium crowd when each, in sequence, tapped the Olympic treasury for gold. It could go down as England's greatest sporting moment.
Yes, the ale will be flowing tonight.
So profound was the moment, that a darn good women's 100-meter final (to close the evening) may have gone almost unnoticed.
Nevertheless, Jamaican sensation Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce beat a strong field to claim gold in 9.75 seconds. Compatriot Veronica Campbell-Brown took bronze in 10.81 while USA's Carmelita Jeter squeezed through for silver in 10.78.
Earlier, in the men's 20 kilometer race/walk, China turned back the doubters who predicted slim pickings once track and field got underway. Ding Chen led a 1-3-4 finish in an Olympic record one hour, 18 minutes, 46 seconds. That puts 19 points on the scoreboard right there.
The slack created by the absence of Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic was picked up by Sandra Perkovic who won the women's discus at 226 feet, nine inches.
So let's see how all this translates in the points standings.
Men's Team Women's Team Overall
USA 24 Ethiopia 17 USA 41
China 19 USA 17 Great Britain 30
Great Britain 19 Russia 14 Ethiopia 29
Ethiopia 12 Jamaica 14 China 25
Germany 11 Kenya 13 Germany 22
Australia 7 Germany 11 Kenya 17
Guatemala 7 Great Britain 11 Jamaica 14
Sweden 5 Croatia 8 Russia 14
Spain 4 China 6 Australia 9
My Twitter feed is abuzz with astonishment from athletes and on-site observers as to the swiftness of the track in Olympic Stadium. This bodes well for track fans expecting something special in the sprints, and is borne out by the impressive times we've seen in the 100 heats and the women's final.
Russia has not made the expected move in the standings...yet. There's still a lot of action left but the scoring opportunities are slipping away.
Kenya has to be disappointed with the men's 10,000. Remember, they went to the trouble of traveling to Eugene, Oregon's London-like climate for their trials. They should be moving up though, as we get into the mid-distance races. Ethiopia is doing well and taking advantage of their opportunities.
Great Britain is overacheiving and the fans are loving it.
Farah's American training partner, Galen Rupp finished a very close second. Their mentor, former distance great, Alberto Salazar is one proud Papa.
On Sunday, six finals will be contested. The Russian women should climb in the standings with points available in the marathon, triple jump and the 400 meters.
On the men's side, we'll see the hammer, the 3,000-meter steeplechase and of course, the event d-jour, the 100. Sorry, no extra points awarded for off-the-chart TV ratings.
Come back on Sunday for the latest from Day 9. Look for "OlympicTrack and Field Standings and Scores" in the headline.