It took several minutes to determine whether Teun Mulder would win a bronze medal in the keirin at the 2012 London Olympics, and they “were definitely the most exciting minutes of my life," he said. But the wait was worth it, as the Dutch rider and Simon Van Velthooven (New Zealand) were determined to have tied for third place.
There was no question that Sir Chris Hoy (Great Britain) had won gold and Maximilian Levy of Germany silver, but third place was close enough to require a photo finish.
Both Van Velthooven and Mulder stared anxiously at the scoreboard, with the New Zealander's third -place finish being announced first. “I knew it was close, but I thought I had crossed the line first. I was sorry, so I hit the ground under my feet,” Mulder told nusport.nl. “For a few seconds I was so disappointed. Then the number three appeared behind my name.”
The decision had been made that the finish was too close to call, and both riders were given bronze medals. The two climbed up on to the podium arm in arm.
Mulder saluted gold-medal winner Hoy, calling him “a legend, the best rider ever in the sprint. I'm happy for him that he won gold, but I am even happier with my bronze medal."
The Dutchman is now turning his attention to other disciplines. "This was my last keirin appearance in an international tournament," he told De Telegraaf. "I've been world champion, won eight times in a World Cup final standing and now I have an Olympic medal.
“It's been nice, but I now want to focus on the team sprint and the world record in the kilometer time trial, which also seems a great challenge. "