Lead data journalist

Just over half the nation caught Olympics fever, although most think London 2012 was better

Mo Farah’s victory in the men's 5,000m and 10,000m was the stand out moment of the Olympics for Brits, according to a new YouGov poll. 22% of people cited Farah’s performance as their favourite moment of Rio 2016, making him Britain’s favourite Olympic star for two games in a row.

Tied for second place on 16% each were Team GB beating China in the medals table and Laura Trott winning two cycling golds and becoming the first British woman to win four Olympics golds overall. The women’s team winning Britain’s first hockey gold can third on 15%, whilst Andy Murray’s tennis game was the favourite of 14% of all Brits (34% of Scots).

All told, just over half the nation caught Olympics fever, with 54% expressing an interest in the Rio Olympics – although this figure is down from the 76% who had been interested in the London Olympics when we asked the same question in 2012.

There had been doubts about whether Brazil would be able to successfully pull off the Olympics ­– the games were marred by quality issues in the Athlete’s Village, green water in the diving pool and athletes supposedly being robbed at gunpoint. Nevertheless, Brits were won over. Seven in ten Olympics fans considered the Rio games to be a success, whilst just 4% thought they were a failure.

Despite this – and Team GB’s incredible performance – people still think that we did it best. Nearly two thirds (65%) of Olympics fans thought that the London 2012 games were better than Rio 2016.

Team GB surprised many by maintaining the success they experienced in 2012 – indeed, Britain is the first nation to ever win more medals in the games after those hosted on home soil. A YouGov survey conducted just prior to the beginning of the games found that just 5% of people with an interest in Rio 2016 correctly predicted that Britain would place second overall in the medals table.

Looking forward to the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Olympics fans remain optimistic that we will continue to do well. One third (32%) think we will win even more gold medals in 2020 than we did this year, whilst a further 26% think we will do about the same.

Photo: PA

See the full results here and here

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