U.S. Women's 4×100 Relay Shatters World Record, Wins Gold
The U.S. Women's relay team shattered the world record for the 4×100 and won gold the at the 2012 London Olympic Games on Friday. Carmelita Jeter couldn’t believe her eyes as she approached the finish line and saw the 4×100 meter relay team’s record-breaking time flashing on the screen. The U.S. sped past Jamaica to its first Olympic gold in sprint relay since 1996, and it did so at 40.82 seconds, over a half-second faster than the world record set nearly three decades ago by East Germany. “I was thinking Olympic record, and when I saw world record I said, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Jeter’s teammate, Allyson Felix, who ran the second leg and won her second individual gold in the 200, told The Miami Herald. “This is crazy.”
The team has had difficulties exchanging the relay baton in the past, but you would’ve never guessed by their flawless execution in London. “We had a cloud hanging over us with people saying, ‘They can’t do it, they’re going to drop the stick,’ ” Jeter said. But the transitions were impeccable, and Jeter used the momentum to push the lead in the final leg. “You know what, I knew these women were going to do their job, they were going to make it happen for me,” Jeter said of her teammates, Felix (pictured), leadoff Tianna Madison and Bianca Knight. “All I had to do was bring the stick home,” said Jeter, adding: “We did it!”
The previous 1985 world mark had been a progression of only 0.16 seconds, a record that took 27 years to be broken and was reported to be fueled by steroids. The current record set by Team U.S.A. was a far more significant progression of 0.55 seconds — a feat that will likely not be undone soon. “A pleasant surprise,” third-legger Knight said, humbly understating a true historic accomplishment.
Runner-up Jamaica did not disappoint either, finishing in second place at a national record time of 41.41.
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