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Women break 4×1 WR

Jeter - 4 x 100m relay

Jeter – 4 x 100m relay

LONDON – Annihilating a world record that had stood for 27 years, the U.S. women’s 4×100-meter relay team on Friday night put on a dominant performance that put the U.S. atop the sprint podium for the first time since 1996. It was a night that also saw two other national records in the women’s 4×100, an American record in the men’s 4x100m rounds and a Team USA silver medal in a dramatic men’s 4×400 relay.

With nine event finals yet to be contested, Team USA’s medal count stands at 26, their highest Olympic medal tally since 30 in 1992.

World record in 4x100m

Coming off of first-round relay missteps in the last two Olympic Games, the U.S. women made up for that and more with a huge world-record win in the 4x100m. A strong leadoff by Tianna Madison (Sanford, Fla.) led to a race-breaking second leg by 200m gold medalist Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.). Bianca Knight (Austin, Texas) ran the same strong third-leg that she did at the 2011 World Championships, and 100m silver medalist Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.) brought it home in 40.82. A stride before the finish, Jeter pointed at the clock and roared at seeing the WR.

The race crushed the world record of 41.37 run by East Germany in 1985 as well as the American record of 41.47 set by Chryste Gaines, Marion Jones, Inger Miller and Gail Devers in 1992. The Jamaican team of 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart was second in a national record of 41.41, and Ukraine was third, also in a national record, in 42.04.

Men’s 4×4 pulls together for silver

With the ranks of their relay pool decimated by injury, the U.S. put in a strong showing to take silver in the men’s 4×400 meters.

Chris Brown gave the Bahamas a slight lead over Team USA and Bryshon Nellum (Los Angeles, Calif.) after the first leg, an order that held through second legs by Demetrius Pinder and Josh Mance (Los Angeles, Calif.), respectively. Running an impassioned race, Tony McQuay (Gainesville, Fla.) moved into the lead 150 meters into the third leg, ahead of Michael Mathieu of the Bahamas by just over a stride at the final hand-off.

The anchor leg pitted two-time Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist Angelo Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.) against Ramon Miller. Angelo held off Miller until the final meters, when the Bahamas took the gold with a national-record time of 2:56.72. Team USA was second in 2:57.05, with Trinidad third in a national record of 2:59.40. Of the U.S. lineup, all but Taylor was a first-time Olympian; heading into the final, three of the original six relay pool members were injured since the Games began: 2008 400m gold medalist LaShawn Merritt (quad), 2004 400m gold medalist Jeremy Wariner (hamstring) and Manteo Mitchell (broken leg).

American record for 4×100 relay

The men’s 4x100m relay team of Jeff Demps, Darvis “Doc” Patton, Trell Kimmons and Justin Gatlin broke the American record in Friday night’s semifinal round, running 37.38 to break the previous record of 37.40, first run by Michael Marsh, Leroy Burrell, Dennis Mitchell and Carl Lewis at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.  At that time, the performance was a world record. The time was then matched at the 1993 World Championships by Jon Drummond, Andre Cason, Mitchell and Burrell. Jamaica won the other semifinal heat in 37.39.

More finals

The evening’s middle-distance events were studies in strategy. In the women’s 1500m, the pack came through 800m in a very slow 2:23.97.  Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) positioned herself next to the rail and ran in third place for most of the race, with Morgan Uceny (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) not far behind.

At the bell, Rowbury was fifth and Uceny sixth, but as soon as the bell lap began, Ucency appeared to be struck by the back-kick of the runner ahead of her and fell to the track in tears. Rowbury continued on to place sixth in 4:11.26. Turkey went 1-2 with Asli Alpetkin (4:10.23) and Gamze Bulut (4:10.40); Maryam Jamal of Bahrain was third in 4:10.74.

In the women’s 5,000m final, a conservative early pace led to an Ethiopian and Kenyan break-away. Meseret Defar of Ethiopia claimed the gold in 15:04.25, with Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya second in 15:04.73 and Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia third in 15:05.15. Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) placed 11th in 15:20.29, and Julie Culley (Clinton, N.J.) was 14th in 15:28.22.

In the men’s pole vault final, Brad Walker (Mountlake Terrace, Wash.) missed at all three attempts at 5.65m/18-6.5 and did not record a mark.

Women’s 4×400 advances

The women’s 4x400m relay team of Keshia Baker (Los Angeles, Calif.), Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.), Diamond Dixon (Lawrence, Kan.) and DeeDee Trotter (Orlando, Fla.) easily advanced the U.S. to Saturday’s final, winning their semifinal heat in 3:22.09; Jamaica won heat 1 in 3:25.13.

Team USA Medal Count – 26 total
Gold (8)
Women’s 4x100m relay (T. Madison, A. Felix, B. Knight, C. Jeter), 40.82WR
Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.), MDEC, 8,869
Christian Taylor (Daytona Beach, Fla.), MTJ, 17.81m/58-5.25
Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.), WLJ, 7.12m/23-4.25
Aries Merritt (Bryan, Texas), M110H, 12.92
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W200, 21.88
Jenn Suhr (Churchville, N.Y.), WPV, 4.75/15-7
Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas), W400, 49.55

Silver (11)
Men’s 4x400m relay (Bryshon Nellum, Josh Mance, Tony McQuay, Angelo Taylor), 2:57.05
Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas), MDEC, 8,671
Will Claye (Imperial Beach, Calif.), MTJ, 17.62m/57-9.75
Jason Richardson (Los Angeles, Calif.), M110H, 13.04
Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), W400H, 52.77
Leo Manzano (Austin Texas), M1500, 3:34.79
Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), W100H, 12.37
Erik Kynard (Manhattan, Kans.) MHJ, 2.33m/7-7.75
Michael Tinsley (Round Rock, Texas), M400H, 47.91
Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W100, 10.78
Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), M10,000m, 27:30.90

Bronze (7)
Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colo.), WLJ, 6.89/22-7.25
Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W200, 22.14
Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.), W100H, 12.48
Justin Gatlin (Orlando, Fla.) M100, 9.79
DeeDee Trotter (Orlando, Fla.), W400, 49.72
Will Claye (San Diego, Calif.), MLJ, 8.12m/26-7.75
Reese Hoffa (Athens, Ga.), MSP, 21.23m/69-8

Team USA Quotes

Carmelita Jeter, women’s 4×100 relay: “It feels great. We ran as a team. Everyone ran a great leg and we got that stick around and a gold medal and a world record.”