London Olympics 2012

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Final East German athletics record tumbles

ESPN staff
August 10, 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 14...

Schedule
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Medal Table

Gold

Dropped batons have plagued USA nearly as badly as Team GB over the years, as sloppy handovers denied the American women gold at the last three Olympics, but something clicked in the Olympic Stadium on Friday night as they stunned Jamaica to claim 4x100m relay gold in a world record time.

Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter produced a faultless lap to power to victory in 40.82 seconds, destroying the previous record, which had stood for more than a quarter of a century.

With evidence of systematic doping during East Germany dominance of world athletics in the 1980s, Silke Gladisch-Moller, Sabine Rieger, Ingrid Auerswald-Lange and Marlies Gohr's 27-year-old mark of 41.37 was the final East German record to fall.

Silver

There is perhaps nobody more deserving of an Olympic medal than GB women's hockey captain Kate Walsh. Just 12 days after having a plate inserted into her jaw, Walsh steered Great Britain to their first hockey medal in 20 years.

Wearing a protective strap over her chin, Walsh put in a captain's performance - setting up two of the goals to inspire her team a 3-1 win over New Zealand - and a hard-earned bronze medal.

"I loved every minute of being out there. I love playing for this team, I love leading this team and that's all my thoughts were on once I fractured my jaw - getting back," Walsh said. "I wasn't nervous; I wasn't scared I just wanted to win that badly today."

Bronze

One of the biggest controversies in the lead-up to London 2012 was the surprise omission of world No. 1 Aaron Cook. Lutalo Muhammad, picked at the expense of Cook at no fault of his own, looked to have blown his medal chances after suffering a quarter-final defeat to Nicolas Garcia Hemme, but was granted a reprieve when the Spaniard reached the final.

Handed a second chance via the repechage, Muhammad made no mistake, winning his remaining two bouts to clinch bronze and go some way to silence his doubters.

"We don't normally get a second chance, and there was no way I was going to lose this opportunity," he said. "My coaches told me 'this bronze is now your gold medal, so you have to treat it as a final and go for it.' That got me in the right state mentally. Bronze is not the colour I wanted, but it was hard earned, so I am very grateful to have this reward and hopefully next time, I can go two further to get that Olympic gold medal".

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