Alfreton, UK

#1 Aug 8, 2012
On Monday Taoufik Makhloufi was thrown out of the Games for not trying; last night, having earned a reprieve, the Algerian won the 1500m gold, running clear of the field to win by more than 10 metres. It marked one of the more startling recoveries of the Olympics.
Makhloufi was granted a second chance after he produced medical evidence that an injury had forced him to walk in his 800m heat – the IAAF, track and field's governing body, had originally taken umbrage at the sight of him walking around the track and expelled him for not trying, in effect for bringing the sport into disrepute.
On Monday night two doctors informed the IAAF that the 24-year-old had "suffered from a painful injury, which however, with appropriate treatment, may allow him to compete in 24 hours." Yesterday morning the IAAF softened its stance and sure enough Makhloufi recovered to win gold, quite possibly on one leg.
"I have a problem with my left leg and it may need surgery," he said afterwards, although it did not stop him completing an ecstatically bouncy lap of honour either. "It's the will of God. Yesterday I was out, today I'm in. This is a gift for the Algerian people and for the whole of the Arabic world."
Makhloufli produced a field-breaking final lap to win in three minutes 34.08 seconds and ahead of Leonel Manzano, who took the United States's first 1500m medal since 1968. Morocco's Abdalaati Iguider won bronze as Kenya failed to win a 1500m medal for the first time two decades.
On Monday he had jogged then walked the first 300m of his 800m heat before stepping off the track. He had not wanted to race but Algerian officials had forgotten to withdraw his entry and so he was compelled to take to the track, albeit fleetingly.

London, UK

#2 Aug 8, 2012

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