From fearing that they were out of the competition due to a failed exchange, to gold medalists.
That’s the roller coaster the U.S. women’s 4×100 relay team has been on the last couple of days, with the IAAF’s decision to let them re-run their semifinal heat opening the door for the Americans to win another gold medal in the event. Tianna Bartoletta ran the first leg, with Allyson Felix, English Gardner and Tori Bowie following in a race that was run with clean baton exchanges and dominant sprints in between for the Americans.
Their time of 41.01 seconds is the second-fastest time ever run in the 4×100 relay, and they beat silver medalist Jamaica by .35 seconds. Having 100 and 200 meter champion Elaine Thompson and 2012 Olympic 100 meter champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as part of their quartet put Jamaica in position to contend for gold before the race began, but the U.S. ran a race that removed any doubt by the time Bowie turn the corner for home.
Taking bronze was Great Britain, who at 41.77 seconds was more than four tenths of a second behind Jamaica (41.36).
With the victory Bartoletta, Felix and Bowie all added to their medal totals in Rio. Bartoletta took gold in the long jump, with Felix taking silver in the 400 and Bowie taking silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200. As for Gardner, the gold medal is her first career Olympic medal. Felix has now won a total of eight Olympic medals, and with five being gold she’s won more than any American female track and field athlete.