LONDON (Reuters) - The 500-1 bet is off and the Queen classic "Under pressure" resounding around some of the London 2012 venues no longer brings home competitors out in a sweat.
Team GB has struck gold.
Bookmakers had been offering those huge odds that Britain would not win a single gold medal at the Games.
While that was an improbable scenario, four days of failure in archery, shooting, judo, handball and canoeing, punctuated by some plucky near misses, had caused a mild degree of panic and plenty of smug smirking from some of Britain's sporting arch rivals, namely Australia.
Then, at lunchtime on Day Five, the nation let out a collective sigh of relief as rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning obliterated a high-class field to win the women's pair in front of 25,000 screaming fans at Eton Dorney.
"Ecstatic," Glover told reporters on the bank of the lake. "It's so surreal, it will take forever to sink in. We're just really relieved, thank you so much everyone."
Twitter went into meltdown as British sporting celebrities from former F1 champion Jenson Button, boxer Amir Khan, tennis player Laura Robson all offered their congratulations.
"Women's rowers take a bow!" offered Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand. "Cyclists do your thing now!"
Ferdinand's call was answered as Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins romped to victory in the men's cycling time trial - blowing his rivals off the road.
"Vodka and tonic helps," Wiggins, the man whose sideburns have become the must-have fashion accessories, responded when asked if his achievements during a magical year had yet sunk in.
With 9.3 billion pounds ($14.57 billion) spent to bring the Games to London for a third time, public perception in Britain, at least in the short-term, will be based on how much bling the rowers, cyclists, sailors, runners and jumpers hang round their necks between now and the end of the Games on August 12.
After finishing an unprecedented fourth in the medals table in Beijing with 47 medals, including 19 golds, Britain was set an even bigger target on home soil.
Golden Wednesday, as it has been dubbed, got the party started although Britain will have to get a move on if it is to exceed the haul from Beijing.
A bumper harvest is expected over the coming days at the rowing and in the velodrome when the track cycling powerhouses saddle up.
Down in Weymouth the British sailors, led by multiple gold medallist Ben Ainslie, will hope for fair winds.
The old joke that Britain's best sportsmen and women are those who spend their careers sitting down, is still doing the rounds - but when it comes to the Olympics the British public would not care if gold medals were awarded for tiddlywinks.
At least Britain's oarswomen silenced the gloating Australians who like nothing better than to dine out on British sporting misfortune - and they used to have ample opportunity.
Not so much these days, especially with their cricket team in decline. But they are still a big threat to Britain's fourth-place target at the Games and the host country's lack of gold had gone down well Down Under.
The Herald Sun newspaper featured a picture of Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen's fictional Kazakh, pointing out not-so-gently that Kazakhstan already has three golds to Britain's zero.
"After four days of competition at the London Olympics the Brits have failed to win a single gold medal," the newspaper wrote, with barely disguised glee. "It's a sad and sorry state of affairs. Except that we're neither sad nor sorry."
Most relieved of all was British Olympic Association chief Andy Hunt, who on Tuesday had confidently predicted that the red, white and blue would be fluttering before too long.
"Let the gold rush begin!" he tweeted on Wednesday soon after Glover and Stanning stormed across the line. ($1 = 0.6382 British pounds)
(Editing by Alison Williams; and Alison Wildey)