Bahamas end US 4x400 dominance
Updated: 2012-08-11 06:43:49
Bahamas' Demetrius Pinder (L) hugs team mate Ramon Miller as Angelo Taylor of the U.S. and Bahamas' Michael Mathieu (R) react after the men's 4x400m relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 10, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON - America's 28-year domination of the men's Olympic 4x400 metres relay ended in thrilling fashion on Friday when the Bahamas overhauled them to snatch gold in a pulsating final leg.
Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller sped home in a Bahamian record time of 2 minutes 56.72 seconds, Miller passing American Angelo Taylor with just 50 metres left to huge roars from the crowd.
"Miller had a phenomenal leg. I really feel bad for these guys (team mates). I really didn't hold up the tradition," Taylor told reporters. "I felt pretty good for 300 (metres), then I tried to hit it and I just didn't have it."
Bryshon Nellum, Joshua Mance, Tony McQuay and Taylor claimed silver for the U.S. with a season's best time of 2:57.05, ending a run of seven successive golds in the event.
The gold was a first in men's track and field for Bahamas.
"It is great, we finally got the gold over the U.S.," the Bahamas' Mathieu said. "The streak is finally gone, we finally got them."
Trinidad and Tobago's Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte and Deon Lendore won bronze with hosts Britain just outside the medals in fourth.
The U.S. had finished ahead of the Bahamas in Beijing four years ago to take gold in an Olympic record time of 2 minutes 55.39 seconds - the second fastest performance ever - but their team in London was much weaker.
American 2008 Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, a first-choice relay option, injured his hamstring moments into his title defence on Saturday and pulled out of the Games, while Manteo Mitchell suffered a broken leg during the relay heats.
(L to R) Bahamas' Ramon Miller, Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder and Michael Mathieu pose after winning the men's 4x400m relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 10, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
Double U.S. relay gold medallist Jeremy Wariner was also unfit to run in London.
The U.S. still remained favourites for gold and their chances looked to have been bolstered on Thursday when medal contenders Jamaica crashed out in qualifying after Jermaine Gonzales pulled up injured and ended their race.
The world's fastest man Usain Bolt had said there was a slim chance he might have run the final if Jamaica had got there.