Saturday, August 23, 2008
The winner of the 1,600-meter relay was never in doubt.
LaShawn Merritt (44.35) got the U.S. out to a comfortable lead before handing off to Angelo Taylor who blazed a 43.70 leg. On the third leg, David Neville added to the lead before Jeremy Wariner (43.16), nearly ran a 42 second anchor leg that added an exclamation point to the victory.
The team of LaShawn Merritt, the 400-meter champion, 400-meter hurdles gold medalist Angelo Taylor, David Neville bronze winner and Wariner the 2004 gold medalist and 400 silver medalist recorded a time of 2:55.39 in Saturday's final.
The time was good enough to establish a new Olympic record, in an event that the U.S have dominated. The previous record of 2:55.74 was set by Americans Andrew Valmon, Quincy Watts, Michael Johnson and Steve Lewis in 1992 at the Seoul Games. The U.S. continues a tradition of owning this event, having now won the 1,600-meter relay at the last seven straight Olympic Games.
Olympian Kerron Clement and former Baylor standout Reggie Witherspoon ran in the qualifying heats and also share in the Olympic gold.
That is not a bad way at all to close out the track and field events at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
By Jay Hicks.