Sanya Richards-Ross delayed her 400-meter victory celebration for a few moments, glancing anxiously at the supersized results board at Olympic Stadium. She wanted to be certain of the official order of finish. Down the final stretch, Richards-Ross felt US teammate DeeDee Trotter close on her left, but didn’t sense the approach of defending Olympic Champion Christine Ohuruogu on her right. Cheered lustily by a home crowd of 80,000, Britain’s Ohuruogu accelerated toward the line, but fell just short of repeating.
In the Men’s 400 Meters, American Lashawn Merritt pulled up in the heats with a slight injury and was unable to advance to the next round while teammates Bryshon Nellom and Tony McQuay failed to make it out of the semifinal round. The U.S.A. Men have won the last seven Olympic titles in this event since 1984 and this was the first year that no American was in the final. The race was won by nineteen-year-old Kirani James from Grenada (and favorite to win) in an unprecedented time of 43.94. Only seven other men have broken the 44-second mark and all are from the U.S.A.
The Men’s & Women’s 100 Meters are the highlights of these Games thus far as Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce continued to defend her Beijing Olympic Gold Medal and came out with the win in 10.75, ahead of American Carmelita Jeter (10.78) and Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.81). American Allyson Felix finished in fifth with a personal best time of 10.89.
On Sunday, August 5 lightning did strike twice as Jamaican Usain Bolt became the second man to American Carl Lewis to win back-to-back Gold Medals in the 100m. He blistered an Olympic record in 9.68 while his teammate Yohan Blake was second in 9.75. American Justin Gatlin captured third in 9.79, just .01 seconds ahead of teammate Tyson Gay who finished in fourth and out of the medal stands in 9.80. This was the fastest 100-Meter final in history as seven men dipped under 10 seconds.
When he won the 100-meter dash in the second-fastest time in history on Sunday night, Usain Bolt sent the 80,000 who witnessed his feat in person and the millions more who watched it on television into a state of delirium. Bolt’s feat raised the old grade-school axiom “Wanna race?” to athletic nirvana.
“People were counting me out because of my past performances, but I know how to turn it on when I have to. When Yohan (Blake) beat me in the 100 Meters at our Trials, I knew I had been slacking. But then he beat me again in my dominant race and then I said to myself there is work to be done and I’m glad he did beat me because I went out there and trained harder,” he told NBC Sports Analyst Lewis Johnson.
In victory, Bolt wore the Jamaican flag around his shoulders like a superhero’s cape. He did a somersault. He did his famous archer’s pantomime and bathed in the adulation and camera flashes of the crowd, roaring in approval after it had been hushed only moments before at the start.
Quotes from the Medalists:
Sanya Richards-Ross – “I’ve dreamt about this moment for so long! It is the BEST feeling in the world! #OperationGold Complete!!!”
DeeDee Trotter – “I got snipped at the line for the Silver, but to get a Bronze Medal and an individual medal has been the highlight of my career. I couldn’t be prouder, all the glory to God for giving me the opportunity.”
Carmelita Jeter – “I am so blessed to be there. It was a tough race. I gave it my all. I got a medal at the Olympics, and it feels so good. The crowd was alive and my family are all here; it means a lot to me. It was a power-filled final. I’m just glad I got to the finish. I hope I represented the USA. It was my first Olympics and I ran a season best and got Silver.”
On Tuesday, August 7 the other most anticipated race was in the Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles. Highly favored Australian Sally Pearson blazed to Olympic Gold in a time of 12.35 (Olympic record), beating defending champion American Dawn Harper by .02 seconds for second place in 12.37, a personal best for her and closing out with a Bronze Medal was American Kellie Wells in 12.48 (personal best).
Dawn Harper – “To make history it was great and I said Lord I am running for my life, It was difficult to come out here and repeat myself but I had God on my shoulders.
Kellie Wells – “God is so good! I had surgery this year and people overlooked me for a medal and I think I came here to prove myself to get a medal. And I am so glad I got the chance to make me & my family proud.”
Congratulations to Gabrielle Douglas in becoming the first African-American to win an individual all-around Gold Medal in Women’s Gymnastics. It has been reported that Douglas signed a $90 million deal with Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
Good luck to Team USA at the London Olympic Games until August 12. For more information, please visit: http://www.london2012.com
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