The lighter side of the Olympic Games

A look at the lighter side of the Olympic Games:

LONDON - American Manteo Mitchell has been hailed as a sporting hero after running with a broken leg for the last 200 metres as he helped his team into the Olympic 4x400m relay final.

Mitchell said he felt a popping in his left leg with about half of his opening leg lap to go during the heats on Thursday.

A few hours later, doctors told him he had a broken left fibula.

Mitchell said: "I figured it's what almost any person would've done in that situation."

He explained that he'd missed a step and landed awkwardly when walking up stairs in the Games village three days earlier but had treatment and felt fine.

"As soon as I took the first step past the 200m mark I felt it break. I heard it. I even put out a little war cry, but the crowd was so loud you couldn't hear it.

"I wanted to just lie down. It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half.

But he finished the lap in 46.1 seconds as the Americans advanced to the final of an event they have won the last eight times they've contested it at the Olympics.

AP

LONDON - It's official: double Olympic champion cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are an item.

After the couple were pictured kissing last night while watching beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade, Trott admitted they were dating.

"So yes its out there me and @JasonKenny107 are dating," the 20-year-old wrote on Twitter.

"Been a little while now just didn't want the distraction before the games x."

The couple joined Prince Harry to watch the raucous finals of the women's beach volleyball, a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace.

The 27-year-old royal is one of the sport's best-known fans after he famously took part in an impromptu game in Rio de Janeiro during a visit to Brazil.

Harry, who was at the velodrome to see Trott secure her second gold, was seen chatting and laughing with the cyclist.

PA

LONDON - Britain didn't win a medal in the beach volleyball, but they will get a consolation prize - a number of new beaches.

Over 5,000 tons of sand were trucked to London to construct the beach volleyball courts.

Now it's all got to go somewhere, and there is a plan to bring beach courts to all corners of Britain.

Volleyball officials say that there is enough sand to furnish 40 courts around Britain.

They also have plans to build an indoor practice facility in hopes of capitalising on the momentum generated by games.

AP/AAP

LONDON - All this glitz, glamour and waterproof eye shadow can only mean one thing: synchronised swimming.

The Australians sported an outfit Thursday that appeared to feature an outline of the Kremlin, and danced to a remix of 'Back in the USSR'.

Egypt, Japan, China and Great Britain then followed with a lot of sequins and bright colours.

But it was Canada who really pulled it out of the bag, playing to the home crowd. Soccer ball swim caps set the tone, with the competitors rolling into the pool through human goal posts and performing flying soccer kicks.

AP

LONDON - Ireland these days is touched by despair: 15 per cent unemployment, mass emigration, a crippling bank bailout.

But an Olympic heroine with a winning right hook has lifted the nation's heart.

Lightweight Katie Taylor on Thursday won Ireland's first boxing gold in two decades, and the first lightweight gold in Olympic women's boxing.

Employers across Ireland let workers leave early to watch her afternoon fight against Russia's Sofya Ochigave.

A huge street party formed in Taylor's hometown of Bray and thousands travelled across the Irish Sea, transforming the Olympics boxing arena in London into a St. Patrick's Day parade.

"People with their hard-earned cash are coming over here and spending it to support Katie," marvelled Peter Taylor, her coach and father.

Taylor is the unofficial pound-for-pound champion of women's boxing after winning the past four world titles with an entertaining style.

AP

LONDON - As Nicola Adams triumphed in the ExCeL arena, her dog, Dexter, was excitedly watching the action 200 miles away.

The 10-month-old Doberman had the gold medal winning fight beamed directly into his "apartment" at the Leeds pet boarding centre where he is staying while Adams is busy conquering the world in London.

Dexter was extremely excitable for the first three rounds but, as the fourth round developed he stopped and watched his mistress on his kennel TV, pawing at the glass separating him from the screen.

Clutching his Team GB boxing meerkat, he paced and looked agitated as he and the staff waited for the referee to raise Adams's arm.

"We think it is quite unusual," said James Cundy from mypetstop pet boarding.

"But he can certainly hear Nicola and we think he is referencing that Nicola is on TV."

PA