The US women’s 4×100 meter relay team pulled off a whammy this week. The team not only confronted and broke a quarter century old record in the relay event, they crushed it.
Allyson Felix, Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter ran a shockingly fast time of 40.82, which is more than half a second faster than the previous world record, which had stood for the last 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.”
This is the second gold for Allyson Felix, who dominated the competition to win the women’s 200 meter dash. She is going for a third gold medal in the 4×400 meter relay as well. Felix is fast becoming the darling of the games, as her pearly white smile and friendly demeanor goes well with the fact that she is the most decorated 200-meter dash runner in women’s history.
Amazingly, Felix won the silver medal in the last two Olympics, starting her quest for greatness at the tender age of 18. She is now 26-years old, which could mean she has two more Olympics left to go.
Jeter won silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200, so this gold is perfect for her to add to her collection. All the women were shocked that they could run a time so fast. It took perfect coordination in exchanges for them to pull it off.
“I just knew if we had clean baton passes that we would definitely challenge the world record. Smash it like we did? We had no idea,” Madison said, “but I knew it was in us.”
The prior record was 41.37, run by the East German team back in 1985.
“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. “I didn’t think that was going to happen.”