LONDON – The look on Carmelita Jeter’s face said it all as she crossed the finish line yesterday stopping the clock in a new world record of 40.82 seconds in the women’s 4×100 metres relay at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Pointing at the clock in disbelief and delight, Jeter ran back to hug teammates Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix and Bianca Stuart who had just combined to shatter two records, one of which stood for more than 30 years.
East Germany’s world record of 41.37, set in Australia in 1985, has been removed from the books. The 41.60 Olympic record, also set by an East German team in Moscow 32 years ago, was replaced at the same time.
After failing to get the baton to the finish line four years ago, Jamaica did so in a new national record of 41.41 seconds, replacing the 41.70 set in Daegu last year with the combination of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart on anchor.
It was Jamaica’s tenth medal (three gold, four silver, three bronze) at these Games. In Beijing, it was 6-3-2.
Ukraine took bronze also with a national record of 42.04, but the Trinidad and Tobago team of Michelle-Lee Ahye, Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Kai Selvon and Semoy Hackett didn’t complete the circuit.
The Bahamas also created history yesterday, with the men winning their first Olympic Games track gold medal in the 4×400 metres relay and it took a national record to do so. It was also the first gold medal by Bahamian men since Durward Knowles and Cecil Cooke won gold in sailing 48 years ago in Tokyo.
Changing up the order from the first round was a masterful stroke, with veteran Chris Brown giving them a fantastic lead which was built on by Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller who brought it home in 2 minutes, 56.72 seconds
The old mark was 2:57.32, and even as they collapsed to the track in exhaustion, there was so much joy on their faces.
The United States were second in a season’s best 2:57.05 and Trinidad and Tobago went under the 3:00.38 national record they had set in the heats with 2:59.40 to take their second bronze medal on the track.
While the men were finishing, the women started the opening rounds of their 4x400m relay which saw the United States qualify with the fastest time of 3:22.09. Jamaica are the lone Caribbean team in the final with a season’s best 3:25.13.
With double-double champion Usain Bolt resting, Jamaica raced to a season’s best 37.39 seconds in the men’s 4x100m with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Kemar Bailey-Cole. It was a new British All-Comers record which lasted only as long as it took the United States team to go under that time with 37.38, setting the stage for the final today at 4 p.m. Eastern Caribbean time.
It was also a new national record for the United States, dipping under the 37.40 set at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
St Kitts and Nevis finally had something to celebrate. Without Kim Collins, who was sent home from the Games, they set a new national record of 38.41 seconds, down from 38.47. They placed sixth in the heat, but did not reach the final.
The Trinidad and Tobago quartet of Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Keston Bledman raced to a season’s best 38.10 seconds and will run out of Lane 9.
Olympic records were also set in the men’s pole vault with 5.97 metres by France’s Renaud Lavillenie and 78.18m by Russia’s Tatyana Lysenko in the women’s hammer.