THE great white hope of Bahraini athletics Mariam Yusuf Jamal last night lived up to the massive expectations of her as she produced a superb performance to take third place in the final of the women's 1500m Olympics.
Maryam's bronze medal, which will be presented during a ceremony later tonight, will be recognised as the first for Bahrain in the history of the country's participation in the Olympics, after the gold given to Rashid Ramzi for the men's 1,500m in Beijing four years ago was later stripped.
A two-time world champion at the distance, Maryam entered last night's race with the quickest recorded time among all 12 participating athletes and as such, was one of the favourites.
It was clear that the 27-year-old had a concise plan of attack as she leapt to the front on the first lap and continued to dictate the pace thereafter.
She led for much of its duration but couldn't move clear of the chasing pack and with half a lap remaining, it was all to play for.
Coming round the final bend, it looked like Bahrain's long-awaited medal was in the bag but Jamal was then overtaken by Gamzi Bulut of Turkey and Ethiopia's Abeba Aregawi.
With Bulut's compatriot sprinting ahead for Asli Cakir Alptekin sprinting ahead for gold, the home straight saw an almighty battle between the next three runners for the two remaining podium places.
As she has shown in the previous rounds at this Olympics however, Maryam once again produced the goods when it really mattered and managed to dig out some kind of super-human burst of acceleration to chase down Aregawi and make it across the line in third. Fittingly, moment of glory marked the end of Bahrain's participation in the 2012 games.
The penultimate night of track action at the London Olympic Stadium did not get off to such an auspicious start for Bahrain representatives as Shama Mubarak and Taj Baba finished well down the field in the women's 5,000m final.
Based on previous performances and the quality of competition up against them, the Bahrainis were never likely to threaten the medal places in this one but they acquitted themselves admirably and kept with the pack for much of a gruelling race.
When it came to the crunch, however, the heavy-weights favourites from Kenya and Ethiopia were able to turn on the after-burners and left the rest of the pack for dead.
In the end, the two east African nations occupied the first six places but it was Meseret Dafur of Ethiopia who crossed the line first to take gold, ahead of Kenya's Vivian Jeplemoi Cheruiyot in second and another Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba in third.