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Usain Bolt Begins Quest for More Olympic Gold, Ultimate Olympic Glory

Richard Green
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt returns to Olympic competition Tuesday at the 2012 London Games in (first round of) the 200-meter race.  
 
Two days after the set the second-fastest time in history in Sunday's thrilling 100-meter race, when he defended his title from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt is the favorite to win the 200-meter race, which he also won in Beijing.  A gold medal in the 200 would solidify his place in sports history as one of the greatest sprinters ever.
 
`"I'm never going to say that I'm the greatest until I've run my 200 meters,'' Bolt told reporters.
 
As with the 100-meter race, his main rival in the 200 is his his teammate and training partner, Yohan Blake, who took home the silver medal Sunday.  
 
The 200 meter final is set for Thursday night.
 
But the 2012 London Olympics has already ended in heartbreak for China's Liu Xiang in the opening round of the 100-meter hurdles.  Liu struck the first hurdle with his leg and crashed to the track before he was helped to the sidelines.  The fall was reminiscent of the 2008 Games, when he was forced to withdraw in front of the home crowd in Beijing due to a foot injury. 
 
Australian Sally Pearson is picked to win the women's 100-meter hurdles gold over Americans Dawn Harper, the defending Olympic champion, and Lolo Jones.  
 
Back in the men's draw, Kenya's Asbel Kiprop is hoping to repeat his gold medal performance from Beijing in Tuesday's final of the 1,500-meters.  His challengers include Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi, who was expelled by track and field's governing body for failing to race hard enough in his 800-meter heat.  The decision was eventually revoked after it was proved Makhloufi had a knee injury.
 
In track cycling at the Velodrome, the host country is hoping for two more gold medals as Chris Hoy races in the men's keirin (which features six racers being paced for just over five laps, then sprinting for the last two-and-a-half laps) for his sixth career gold medal, while Victoria Pendleton battles Germany's Kristina Vogel in the semi-finals in the women's individual sprint, and a chance for a possible matchup against Australia's Anna Meares.  Meares will face China's Guo Shauang in the semi-finals. 
 
Gold medals will also be awarded Tuesday for the men's Greco-Roman wrestling (66 kilograms and 99 kilograms), women's gymnastics beam and floor exercises, men's high jump and men's discus.  
 
China leads the overall medal count for the 2012 London Olympics with 64, including 31 gold.  A close second is the United States with 63 medals, including 29 gold.  Russia has overtaken Britain for third in the medal race with 42 total medals, including seven gold; the host country has 18 gold medals.  
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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