Australia's Sally Pearson said she had been inspired by the victory of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics after she charged to gold in the Olympic 100m hurdles on Tuesday.
Freeman won an emotion-packed 400m at the 2000 Games on home soil in Sydney, the spark that Pearson said had ignited in her the desire to win Olympic gold, which she sealed in 12.35sec.
"I really wouldn't have cared if I'd won in 14 seconds," said a beaming Pearson.
"I wanted that gold medal. I've been working for four years now to get that gold medal and it's been a dream of mine for 12 years since I watched Cathy Freeman win her gold in Sydney. So it's unbelievable."
The race was not all plain sailing for 25-year-old Pearson, who was pushed to the line and held her nerve to win with a powerful dip finish.
The Australian's time was an Olympic record and edged Beijing gold medallist Dawn Harper of the United States, who timed a personal best of 12.37sec. American Kellie Wells claimed bronze in 12.48sec.
"I don't even know how to describe it because it's like a dream right now," said Pearson, who has been based in Britain for the last six weeks to escape the pressure in Australia.
With the times so close, there was a nervous wait to see who had won the race, and when Pearson's name flashed up as the gold medallist, the Australian roared with delight before setting off on a lap of honour.
"It was funny because I crossed the finishing line and I'm like 'oh yeah, I'm well clear of this' and then I looked over and I'm like 'maybe I'm not'," said Pearson.
"But I really did feel like I'd won that race and it was just a matter of having it confirmed on the scoreboard and you don't realise how special that is to see your name at the number one spot. It was incredible."
Pearson's victory was Australia's first track and field gold of the London Games.