Boxer Nicola Adams ensured she would take at least a silver home from London 2012 on a day which ended without a medal for Great Britain.
It was the first time Team GB had failed to swell their haul since the first day of the Games, with the biggest disappointment coming in the showjumping at Greenwich Park.
But there was good news nonetheless as Adams booked her place in the women’s flyweight final, while sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark assured themselves of a medal in the women’s 470 class.
Adams overcame five-time world champion Mary Kom in their semi-final at ExCeL to book a gold medal meeting with China’s world number one Ren Cancan later today.
“I’ve been training for this moment since I was 12 years old and to think it is finally here is just incredible,” said Adams. “I am going to treat it like a normal tournament, and hopefully the crowd will give me a boost to edge away and get the gold.”
Mills and Clark amassed a large enough points margin after the end of the opening 10-race series to be sure that they will leave with at least a bronze – and silver will be theirs as long as they are not disqualified or black flagged in Friday’s medal race.
Mills and Clark now face a straight fight with New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie for gold.
However, there was agony in Greenwich Park for British showjumpers Nick Skelton, Scott Brash and Ben Maher – team gold medallists on Monday – who all missed out on the podium. Skelton and Brash both went clear for their first rounds, but neither could repeat the feat second time around, as one fence down apiece saw them finish joint fifth.
Britain’s women also missed out on gold in hockey as they lost 2-1 to Argentina in their semi-final. Argentina went two up before Alex Danson pulled one back late on for the hosts, who could not find an equaliser and now go into the bronze medal match against New Zealand.
In the Olympic Stadium, 100m champion Usain Bolt cruised into the 200m final with ease, effectively winning his semi-final before halfway, and almost jogging down the home straight to win in 20.18 seconds.
Team-mate Yohan Blake was the fastest qualifier after also slowing down markedly in winning the opening semi-final in 20.01secs, but Bolt has no doubts he will put his training partner in his place once again tonight.
“No doubt whatsoever,” Bolt said. “I’m ready, this is my favourite event, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Lancashire lass Sophie Hitchon improved her own British record, throwing 71.98m, in the last round of qualifying to reach the women’s hammer final.