Britain's Nicola Adams entered the history books as the first ever women's Olympic boxing champion Thursday, as Usain Bolt seeks to become the only man to retain the 100m and 200m sprint titles.
In front of raucous crowds at east London's ExCeL venue, flyweight Adams upset Chinese world champion Ren Cancan 16-7 to become the first on the podium in the Olympics' inaugural women's boxing competition.
"It is a dream come true. I am so happy and overwhelmed with joy right now. I have wanted this all my life and I have done it," said Adams, who threw mock punches at the stands in celebration.
The packed arena shook to a burst of "Fields of Athenry" by Irish fans as multiple world champion Katie Taylor sealed the lightweight title with a narrow 10-8 win over Russia's Sofya Ochigava.
And teenager Claressa Shields restored some pride to American boxing when she won the middleweight final against Russia's Nadezda Torlopova.
None of the US men's boxers won a medal in London, in what was their worst ever Olympics. At 17 years and 145 days, Shields is the youngest Olympic boxing champion since compatriot John Fields won in 1924 aged 16.
But all eyes will be on the Olympic Stadium for Thursday's evening session when 1.96m (six-foot-five) Bolt will try to take a giant stride towards immortality in the men's 200m.
The party-loving Jamaican retained his 100 metres crown on Sunday and looked to be in ominous form once again on Wednesday when he strolled to victory in his 200m semi-final, easing across the line in 20.18sec.
Victory for the 25-year-old in Thursday's final would better the record of American legend Carl Lewis, who won three golds and a silver in the sprints at the 1984 and 1988 Games.
"People always doubt the champion but I know what I can do so I never doubt myself. This is my favourite event so I am looking forward to it," said Bolt, who is targeting his own world record of 19.19sec.
"It's a possibility, definitely. I can't say but the track is fast, it's going to be a good race."
His main danger will come from compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake, who took silver in the 100m.
Britain's Charlotte Dujardin won equestrianism's individual dressage with a routine set to "Live And Let Die", "The Great Escape", and the chimes of Big Ben, the hosts' third gold medal at a packed Greenwich Park.
Hungary's Eva Risztov won the marathon swim by just 0.4 seconds from America's Haley Anderson, after a 10km race at Hyde Park's Serpentine lake described as "pretty violent" by fourth-placed Briton Keri-Anne Payne.
Back on the track, world champion David Rudisha goes for gold in the men's 800m while South Africa's Caster Semenya, in her debut Olympics, runs in the women's semi-finals.
Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee to take part in the Olympics, had a scare when South Africa team-mate Ofentse Mogawane crashed out of the 4x400m relay heats, apparently ending his medal hopes.
But Kenya were disqualified over Mogawane's fall and South Africa were reinstated to the final on appeal, keeping Pistorius's campaign alive.
Meanwhile, the United States are looking to secure a one-two finish in the decathlon. With two events to go, Ashton Eaton leads compatriot and world champion Trey Hardee by 222 points.
The United States are also seeking to win successive women's football titles when they tackle Japan, the team they lost against in the 2011 World Cup final, in front of an expected 83,000 spectators at Wembley.
The first medals of the day were settled on the canoe-kayak sprint course at Eton Dorney Lake, with Germany bagging two golds while Australia and Hungary snaffled one apiece.
Separately, Africa Village, a hospitality venue intended as the continent's shop window during the Games, was closed permanently due to unpaid debts.
And Belgian cyclist Gijs Van Hoecke was sent home after media pictured him stumbling drunkenly down a London street.
Nicola Adams of Great Britain celebrates her gold medal victory over Cancan Ren of China in the women's boxing Flyweight final of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the ExCel Arena in London. Adams won the first ever women's Olympic flyweight final with a 16-7 win over China's world champion Ren Cancan to claim the hosts' first boxing gold.
Gold medalist Claressa Shields of the USA celebrates with the gold medal on the podium of during the women's boxing Middleweight (75kg) of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the ExCel Arena in London. Shields restored some pride to American boxing when she beat Russia's Nadezda Torlopova 19-12.
A combination of pictures taken in August 2012 show Jamaica's Usain Bolt as he gestures before competing at the athletics events during London Olympic Games.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius is seen during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Pistorius, the first double amputee to take part in the Olympics, had a scare when South Africa team-mate Ofentse Mogawane crashed out of the 4x400m relay heats, apparently ending his medal hopes. But Kenya were disqualified over Mogawane's fall and South Africa were reinstated to the final on appeal.