14th September 2014


14 September 2014

15:53 – The final medal ceremonies are taking place and, draped on the balcony above the podium, is a yellow and black banner.

It reads: 'Everyone a hero'.

The Invictus Games are coming to a close and there will be a huge party at the closing ceremony to celebrate what has been an overwhelmingly successful few days but that banner just about sums it up.

There have been hundreds of competitors from nations around the world. Some have won medals and some haven't but there is no doubting that they entertained and inspired everyone who had the pleasure to watch them.

15:44 - There's a congregation of swimmers amassed at pool side and athletes from all nations are hugging and congratulating each other on a great day of swimming.

15:43 - There's a congregation of swimmers amassed at pool side

15:41 - This is an incredible swim from the Brits and they claim gold with the USA taking silver and the Netherlands with bronze

15:40 - Halfway through and the noise is electric as Great Britain still lead.

15:39 - Silence gives way to a giant roar and everyone is screaming encouragement for this one.

Britain lead after the first changeover.

15:38 - Eight nations going in this one and a final chant of 'I AM INVICTUS' brings mutual applause from athletes and spectators alike.

15:36 - Just the mixed relay to come now and the final ovation that the swimmers are getting as the make their way to the pool side is incredible.

They have put on a great show this afternoon and there have been so many inspirational stories and performances.

Great Britain have been in imperious form out there today and they will be hoping to add one more gold to an already huge collection.

15:23 - The last of the individual races is about to start and then there is the grand finale: the mixed 4x50 metre relay.

15:08 - Some wonderful words from Great Britain's David Wiseman after he takes gold in the 100 metre ISD final.

“There's so many people from around the world here and we have all been through a lot,” he said.

“But he we are not being defined by our injuries and we are just smashing it.”

14:59 – Catherine Thomson has just collected her breaststroke medal but Stephanie Verhoef of the Netherlands was close behind in silver.

It's Verhoef's 30th birthday today and what a way to celebrate!

14:47 - There's only five races left here as Kimberley Sterling collects her third gold medal.

14:43 - Lewis Edwards has has a remarkable day at the Aquatic Centre and he has just claimed his fourth gold medal of the day with a great 100 metre swim with a time of 1:11.02.

14:36 - Some hilarious scenes as 'air guitar cam' adorns the big screen and there's more than one embarrassed child as the dads rock out to laughter and applause.

Meanwhile, in the pool it's 100 metre freestyle time.

14:28 – Brilliant stuff here at the Aquatic Centre. Kimberley Sterling wins her third gold of the day in the breaststroke and her mum is with the announcer after her daughter wished her a happy birthday.

“I am so proud, not just of Kimberley but of everyone who has competed today, what an inspiration,” she said.

“What a birthday! Three gold medals.

“I feel very very proud because she has come through an awful lot.

“We have out dark days but we always get through them”

14:17 – Australian Adrian Talbot rounds off the men's breaststroke with gold in 37.16.

USA's John Edmonston takes the silver and bronze goes to Denmark.

Talbot applauds the crowd that have given all the athletes a superb reception this afternoon before giving a special message to his family.

“Without my wife and all my family who are sitting up there I wouldn't be here today so I just want to thank them,” he said.

13:59 - Mary Wilson (below) is draped in the Union Jack as she collects her second medal of the day.

It's a strong performance by the Brits in the pool today but all the athletes are giving it their all and it's inspirational stuff.


13:56 - The backstroke is done and Lewis Edwards gets the breaststroke races off to a strong start by claiming his third gold medal of the session.

A huge round of applause for all the swimmers as Edwards goes to do yet another interview.

He's having quite the day in the pool and says he's going for one more gold but he's starting to get hungry.

Hang on Lewis not long to go now!

13:48 - The Games are being organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence.

And Prince Harry has arrived at the Aquatic Centre to dish out the medals for the men's ISC 50 metre backstroke.

13:40 - The afternoon's first race saw Germany's Michael Ebersoldt win gold in the 50 metre freestyle.

However, he thought that he had competed in the wrong category and so took the decision to disqualify himself and allow others to take the medals.

A fantastic show of sportsmanship from the German.

13:26 - It's already the tenth race of the session and it's flown by!

It's the last of the men's backstroke finals and that was a real tussle for gold but it eventually went to Australia's Ben Webb.

Britain's David Wiseman was just under a second behind but didn't have enough for that final push.

A great race and Webb gives the most laid back interview you can imagine.

“The plan was just don't slow down,” he said.

“There is so many inspiring people around and so many amazing stories.”

13:09 - Winter Olympic medallist Lizzie Yarnold MBE is on hand to present the medals for the women's 50m ISB freestyle race.

These games have brought celebrities, politicians, athletes and royalty together; a testament to how much admiration and respect there is for the heroes out here that are competing.

13:05 - Huge cheer for Britain's Lewis Edwards who has just claimed gold in the first 50 metre backstroke race.

He took an early lead and never looked like he was going to give that up. His finishing time was 37.14, a whole ten seconds faster than his closest competitor.

12:55 - The last of the 50 metre freestyle races has just finished and it was the women's ISD.

The Union Jacks are waving once again as Great Britain take gold thanks to Catherine Thomson but the biggest roar is is for 32-year-old Lia Halsall from Australia.

It was a difficult race for her as she came through in last place but the reception she has just received shows that these Games are about so much more than winning or losing.

12:47 - Kimberley Sterling gets a huge reception before her 50 metre race and she doesn't disappoint this crowd as she secures gold in 34.89 ahead of Australia's Sarah Webster.

She gets out of the pool and says a special happy birthday to her mum! Very sweet.

12:36 - The first of the women's races is between America's Chanda Gaeth and Great Britain's Mary Wilson in the 50 metre ISB freestyle.

Wilson gets off to a quick start and takes gold but that race was about a lot more than the colour of medal.

12:29 - That was about as close as they come. Australia take their first gold of the afternoon session thanks to the efforts of Adrian Talbot and he says the Invictus Games have been 'absolutely amazing'.

The first medal ceremony is now taking place and the athletes are appropriately positioned in front of giant letters spelling out 'I AM'.

It's a fitting picture of heroes who remained unconquered in the face of adversity.

12:19 – The ISC men's 50 metre freestyle brings the closest race of the afternoon and it finishes with a Great Britain one, two, three.

Gus Hurst takes gold and there's only one more men's 50 metre freestyle race left with the ISD category coming up.

12:14 - There's eight in this one and the gold is comfortably claimed by Great Britain's Lewis Edwards.

It's the first swimming medal for the Brits and the crowd love it as Lewis responds with gratitude.

“That's what it's all about, getting out here and inspiring people,” he said.

“I just want to say thanks to everyone for all the support.”

12:07 - A great start to the action here and a taste of things to come. Next up we have the men's 50 metre ISB.

12:05 - There's four competitors in this one. Silence falls on the crowd and they line up to start. And off they go!

A roar of 'I AM' resonates around the Aquatics Centre and there is applause all the way as Germany''s Michael Ebersoldt takes the gold medal.

There's an incredible battle for second and it's neck and neck all the way. Great Britain's Matthew Webb takes it in the end but he was matched stroke for stroke by bronze medalist Garry Robinson of Australia.

11:58 – The stage is set. The crowd are prepped. All that's left now is to get this show on the road.

11:52 – The first race of the finals will be the men's 50 metre freestyle ISA-S5 which is scheduled to start at noon.

After that the action is non-stop and it's race after race in what is going to be a real festival of swimming action.

11:50 – We're about ten minutes from the first set of swimming finals at the Aquatic Centre.

The announcer is putting the crowd through their paces and making sure everyone gives a giant shout of 'I AM' every time a race begins.

There's pockets of supporters from almost very nation here and, as usual, there are plenty of Union Jacks draped over the railings.

09:42 - There's nothing like a morning swim and the last to take a dip are the women's 50 metre backstroke ISC competitors.

That's the morning session complete but the afternoon session promises to be a treat with races coming thick and fast from midday.

Elsewhere in the Olympic Park there is sitting volleyball action at the Copper Box and Power Lifting at Here East before what is going to be an incredible closing ceremony.

09:26 – There's a beautiful breeze complimenting the echoing cheers in the Aquatic Centre at the moment but as this place fills up it's going to become a dense hub of noise.

The heats for the men's 50 metre ISC are coming to a close and that will be followed by the ISB category.

It's incredible to see the speed that these athletes are able to generate in the pool. To see them is to be inspired – they are the mothers, fathers, husbands and wives who put their lives on the line, suffered life-changing injuries but refused to be beaten.

09:10 – The women's 100 metre freestyle ISC has just come to a close and USA's Sarah Evans takes first place but it was an incredibly close race.

Great Britain's Mary Wilson led going into the final length but Evans showed great heart to make up the distance.

08:58 - We've already seen some great races today and, keeping with the spirit of the Invictus Games, the support for all athletes has been immense.

There have been those who have struggled in the pool but they have not given up and, spurred on by their fellow athletes and a group of rather colourful Dutch fans, they have shown their 'unconquered' wills.

08:55 - The Aquatic Centre is basked in the morning sun and the pool looks pristine. This is the perfect venue for a full day of swimming action.

08:45 – It's day four of the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, and the heats in the swimming competition are drawing to a close at the London Aquatic Centre.

Yesterday was packed with incredible sporting action and, with events happening all over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, today is sure to be the same.