Carmelita Jeter made sure everyone understood what Team USA had just accomplished. She pointed toward the digital clock with the baton as it flashed a time of 40.82 seconds.
Jeter, Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix and Bianca Knight had just gotten a gold medal in the 4 X 100m relay and they did so while shattering the world record by a little more than half a second.
As The New York Times reports, this was the first gold in this event for the United States in 16 years. In fact, the U.S. had performed horribly in the event, failing in the heats in past Olympics. The Times adds:
“On Friday, though, the Americans were perfect. Tianna Madison broke quickly from the blocks, then passed cleanly to Allyson Felix, who won the 200 this week. Bianca Knight ran the curve on the third leg before passing to Jeter, who took silver in the 100 and blazed toward the finish, where she celebrated just as she crossed the line.
“It was a stunning finish in an event in which the United States found itself embroiled in a bit of controversy before it even ran. Jeneba Tarmoh was part of the quartet that ran in the preliminary round, but she did not run in the final. Tarmoh’s inclusion in the heats means she will win a medal, but these Games seem destined to be a bittersweet experience for her as she was part of the contentious dead-heat finish in the 100 at the Olympic trials that ultimately left her on the outside of the American sprint team. She was later added to the relay team.”
The gold medal also continues an incredible performance for the U.S. in track and field. By Olympics’ end, the U.S. might collect its highest number of medals ever, USA Track & Field predicts.
Team Jamaica, which included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the fastest woman in the world, finished second with a time of 42.04 seconds. The Ukraine took bronze with a time of 42.04.