London Olympics 2012

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King Kenny: The fastest man on two wheels

ESPN staff
August 6, 2012

Every day of the Olympics, we at ESPN Towers will award gold, silver and bronze medals to the top three moments. Here are our choices for day ten...

Schedule
Results
Medal Table

Gold

Having been picked for the men's team sprint at the expense of GB flagbearer Sir Chris Hoy, anything less than gold would simply not be good enough for Jason Kenny.

If it wasn't enough that he had sizable cycling shoes to fill, the baby-faced Kenny had the added pressure of performing in front of a home crowd.

Kenny had been defeated by Gregory Bauge during the World Championship final earlier this year, and the Frenchman had warned the Brit he would be "like a caged tiger" as he vowed to spoil the hosts' party.

With four golds already in the bag for Team GB, there was no sign of the party spirit coming to an end as Kenny outclassed the world champion with two mature rides to claim his second gold of the Games - and his third Olympic gold medal at the tender age of 24.

Silver

Our silver medal goes to an athlete who worked harder off the track than he did on it to keep his Olympic dreams alive.

We are, of course, talking about Algerian athlete Taoufik Makhloufi, the only track athlete at the 2012 Games to be accused of "not trying". The official reason for his disqualification from the Games was "for not providing a bona fide effort", as he walked through his 800m heat before giving up after 100m.

Makhloufi is a genuine 1500m medal hope, so when his federation failed to pull him from the 800m in time, he appeared to take the decision to make up the numbers. Jogging through the first part of the 800m, he encouraged other athletes around him and then pulled up.

His 1500m hopes were then up in smoke when he was kicked out of the Games, but it was at that point that Makhloufi's true fighting spirit came through. Finding a doctor ready to fight his cause, the Algerian suddenly managed to provide a doctor's note (or at least a letter from his mum) saying he was carrying an injury.

As a result, the Olympic Games' most lazy/defiant athlete remains in the competition, and you just know that he will complete this story by taking a medal on Tuesday.

Bronze

A three-time world champion, there may not be a more deserving recipient of an Olympic medal than Beth Tweddle.

Tweddle, who will retire after London 2012, has been a trailblazer for British gymnastics, becoming the first British gymnast in history to win a medal at a World Championships in 2003, then becoming Britain's first gymnastics world champion three years later.

In a sport traditionally dominated by the Eastern Europeans, Tweddle's glittering career has been missing an Olympic honour - having finished agonisingly fourth in Beijing four years ago.

It may not be gold, but Tweddle, whose entire career appears to embody the London 2012 motto, 'inspire a generation', can bow out with her head held high.

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