Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012 Olympics Watch-40.82!

For American track fans, winning the 4x100 and 4x400 relays in an Olympics or World Championships is like winning the gold medal in basketball.

It's expected due to the long and distinguished history in these events on both the men's and women's sides..   

The USA women prior to 2000 had won the 4x100 relay nine of the 16 times the event had been held with the last win being in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

During the Sydney Games a relay team featuring gold medal winner Marion Jones had to settle for bronze because of a sloppy second exchange between Torri Edwards and Nanceen Perry.

In Athens in 2004, they bungled the second exchange again and failed to finish because Lauryn Williams started too early and Jones passed her the baton beyond the legal zone. 

And in Beijing the buzzard's luck for the women's 4x100 relay team continued.  They didn't even make the final because they failed to finish in their qualifying heat.

Track fans in the States were getting restless with the miscues and the gold medal drought in one of the events we consider a signature one for our Olympic track teams of either gender. 

The drought ended in resounding fashion last night.   Not only did the USA quartet of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter win gold, they beat their Jamaican rivals in a resounding world record setting time of 40.82 seconds.

They took out the 41.37 record set in 1985 by East Germany and also took out the East German 1988 Olympic record in the process.

Great job ladies.   Now how about an encore in Rio?

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