After missing out on a gold medal in surprising fashion four years ago, the U.S. men’s 4×400 team reclaimed the top spot Saturday night.
Arman Hall, Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts and LaShawn Merritt were in control for most of the race, with the exception of a stumble by Roberts during the final straightaway on the third leg. Roberts maintained his balance however, and once he got the baton to Merritt the Americans were back on track. The U.S., which finished in 2:57.30, has won three of the last four men’s 4×400 relay Olympic gold medals.
Taking silver was Jamaica with a time of 2:58.16, and Bahamas stormed past Botswana to take bronze in 2:58.49. Botswana appeared headed to a bronze medal finish, but anchor Gaone Maotoanong ran out of gas down the stretch and was ultimately passed by the Bahamas and Belgium to finish in fifth. Six teams finished the race in less than three minutes, a first for the Olympic final, with Belgium and Botswana both establishing new national records.
Brazil, which landed in the final after three teams were disqualified following the qualifying heats, finished eights.
The Bahamas took gold in this event in London four years ago.