The U.S. had a big lead when Carmelita Jeter got the baton for the anchor leg of the women’s 4x100-meter relay on Friday night.
She knew exactly what to do with it.
Jeter powered down the stretch and pointed the baton at the clock as she crossed the finish line, celebrating a world-record time of 40.82 seconds that gave the Americans their first victory in the event since 1996.
Tianna Madison, 200-meter champion Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Jeter combined for a perfect trip around the track that ended a string of disappointments for the U.S. in the marquee relay. At the 2008 Beijing Games, the Americans didn’t reach the final because Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams bobbled the last exchange in the semifinals.
Their final time cut more than a half-second off the old record of 41.37 run by East Germany in 1985.
The American team was in control in the men’s 4x400 relay until Ramon Miller of the Bahamas chased down Angelo Taylor on the anchor leg to grab his country’s first gold in a race won by the U.S. in every Olympics since 1984.
Jordan Burroughs had his eyes on a gold medal for months, and he let everyone know about his plans.
Then he delivered.
The 24-year-old American backed up the talk, beating Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi 1-0, 1-0 in the 74-kilogram freestyle division to give the U.S. its first wrestling gold in London.
Maris Strombergs of Latvia won his first gold in 2008. Now he has two.
Strombergs defended his BMX title over a harrowing course in Olympic Park, taking the lead at the start and never relinquishing it. He cruised across the finish line in 37.576 seconds to add to the title he won in Beijing, when the sport made its Olympic debut.
Ous Mellouli of Tunisia won the grueling 10-kilometer race to become the first swimmer to win medals in the pool and open water at the same Olympics. He also won bronze in the 1,500-meter freestyle last week.
The Netherlands retained the women’s Olympic title with a 2-0 win over Argentina.