U.S. women’s track team breezes through 4x400m relay to Olympics gold
"By the time I got the stick," stated Sanya Richards-Ross, "it was basically a victory lap."
The U.S. team won by a clean 3.36 seconds margin to their closest competition in the 4x400m relay, and secured the 19th fastest time in Olympics history.
It was a “special” Olympics for Allyson Felix who won her third gold at the London Games, set a world record, and increased the alleviated U.S. team to a 2 second lead just half way through the 4x400m relay final. Allyson Felix, who ran two straight-nights on the track following the gold medal at the 4x100m relay, did not appear to carry any fatigue with her as she gave the 4x400m finals her all.
The U.S. Team took a lead from the start following DeeDee Trotter’s leg and Allyson Felix blazed out on her leg under just 47.8 seconds, with a 1.8 second difference over Russia’s Antonina Krivoshapka. From that point, the U.S. team had set the moment for a certain victory. Francena McCorory extended that lead by .49 seconds before handing the baton to Sanya Richards-Ross.
Sanya Richards-Ross, who bagged her fifth-career Olympics medal this year, completed the last leg in a laid-back fashion, loosely holding on to the baton. The only effort required of her was that she finished the race on steady legs.
"It is a bit challenging to run at the front because you don't want to run too fast and mess it up," stated Sanya Richards-Ross, who also won the 400m gold at London Olympics.
With the 4x400m relay gold, the U.S. track team came even closer to this year’s 30 medal goal and high jumper Brigetta Barrett added a silver bring the total to 29 medals.
"I think the pressure was on to go out and do what we are capable of doing," stated DeeDee Trotter. “I think we finally hit the mark this time… We got it done."
The U.S. team certainly knew the importance of the moment as they clocked in at 3:6.87 seconds ahead of the Russians and the Jamaicans followed in third with 3:20.95. Securing the baton under her arm, Sanya Richards-Ross started applauding following their outstanding performance as the 27-year-old’s teammates met her at the end of the track. The U.S. team broke into a hug, and danced around before taking a victory lap with the flag flapping above their heads.
Allyson Felix was thought to be an additional advantage for the U.S. team as she backs a lot of experience at the 100 and 400m. The 26-year-old earned her redemption after losing the 100m without a medal at the London Olympics. But Allyson Felix insisted that it was just a warm up for her 4x400m relay.
The London Olympics proved to be a marvelous comeback for Allyson Felix after her disappointment at the Beijing and Athens 200m sprints.
It's unbelievable," stated Allyson Felix. “Four years later to have all this happen, to really accomplish every goal that I set out, is such a blessing."