An Olympic medal was the one medal she did not have - but veteran British judo heavyweight Karina Bryant changed all that as she took bronze on Friday.
The four-time European Champion and five-time world silver medallist finally claimed a coveted medal after triumphing in the bronze fight against Ukraine's Iryna Kindzerska. Cheers filled the ExCeL centre's North Arena 2 just 24 hours after fellow judoka Gemma Gibbons took silver, ending Britain's 12-year quest for Olympic success.
"Deep down in my heart I really wanted to go out there and do myself justice. I have had an amazing career, but this was the one medal I did not have," said Bryant, who has often spoken of her desire to get an elusive Olympic medal.
"It is not the right colour, but it is gold to me, because I could not have done any more. I fought a fantastic semi-final, but the Japanese girl is a great fighter. I was not disappointed, because I felt like I had given it everything."
Despite a flurry of European and world medals and competing in three previous Games, Bryant has never managed to add an Olympic medal to her collection. In 2003 she was voted European female judo player of the year and was in The Sunday Times top 10 sportswomen of the year.
But it hasn't all been plain sailing - Bryant was sidelined by a neck injury for the first half of 2011, but battled back to top form. She qualified automatically, rather than under a home nation place, for London 2012. And earlier this year it was reported that Bryant was appealing for money via a website called peoplefund.it.
She was said to have been hoping to raise £5,000 for a "modest runaround" amid fears that problems with her car - at one point she was crawling through the boot to get into it - would prevent her from getting to training.
But those problems will all seem a long way off for her - before the games she said an Olympic medal would be the "icing on the cake" for her career.
Bryant, for whom London 2012 is likely to be her last Games, previously said: "I have been around quite a while and my body is getting towards the end of its career. While I have probably got another year or two, to go on a four-year Olympic cycle is definitely out.
"To be able to go to London is amazing, we never thought we would be able to compete at a home Olympic Games. The Olympics is the only medal I do not have. There have been chances before, but I have not been able to take them, so to be able to walk away with an Olympic medal in London would be the icing on the cake for my career."