Leading article: Golden touch

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The Independent Online

OK, so we were wrong. On Monday we proclaimed that it couldn't get any better for Britain. But it did. Christine Ohuruogu's unexpectedly stunning victory in the 400 metres brought Britain's gold medal tally to 16, making this the nation's best Olympic performance for a century. The cyclist Chris Hoy became the first Briton to win three golds in one Games for 100 years. Ms Ohuruogu's track victory has even put paid to the Australian jibe that we can only win in "sitting down" sports like cycling, sailing and rowing.

Cynics may scoff that sport is the opium of a couch potato people. But these Olympics have offered more than mere diversion from a dismal summer of grey skies and economic gloom.

They have stirred in British breasts a pride and confidence which can be transformative.

When you cross the finishing line, said Chris Hoy, it's like nothing else you've ever felt. Part of the triumph of Britain's athletes is that they enable the rest of us to experience a reflection of that feeling.

And there may yet be more to come.