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Local Olympians: Felix, U.S. relay team break world record

Posted: August 9, 2012 8:59 p.m.
Updated: August 9, 2012 8:59 p.m.

The United States 4x100-meter relay team members, from left, Tianna Madison, Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight, and Santa Clarita resident Allyson Felix, pose on Friday in London.

 

LONDON (AP) — Eyeing the trackside clock as she approached the finish line, Carmelita Jeter pointed the black baton in her left hand at those bright orange numbers.


She wanted to make sure everyone saw what she saw: The United States was breaking the world record in the women’s 4x100-meter relay — and it wasn’t even close.


Santa Clarita resident Allyson Felix, Tianna Madison and Bianca Knight built a big lead, and Jeter brought it home Friday night, anchoring the U.S. to its first Olympic gold medal in the sprint relay since 1996 with a time of 40.82, more than a half-second better than a record that had stood for 27 years.


“As I’m running, I’m looking at the clock and seeing this time that’s like 37, 38, 39. In my heart, I said, ‘We just did it!’ I definitely knew we ran well,” Jeter said. “When I crossed the finish line, I had so many emotions because we haven’t been able to get the gold medal back to the U.S.”


Felix collected her second gold of the London Games, along with the one she won in the 200 meters, while Jeter completed a set, adding to her silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200.


The American quartet erased the old mark of 41.37 run by East Germany in October 1985. Here’s how long ago that was: Jeter was 5, Madison was a month old, and Felix and Knight weren’t even born.


“It’s an absolutely unreal feeling. It just feels like for so long, we looked at women’s sprints and the records were so out of reach. To look up and see we had a world record, it was just crazy,” said Felix, who gets a shot at a third gold in the 4x400 final Saturday. “I didn’t think that was going to happen.”

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