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Bahamas take 4 x 400m in thrilling finish

posted 10 Aug 2012, 18:52 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 10 Aug 2012, 18:53 ]

The Bahamas overtook USA on the final straight to win the men's 4 x 400m gold.

America's 28-year domination of the men's Olympic 4x400 metres relay ended in thrilling fashion when the Bahamas overhauled them to snatch gold in a pulsating final leg.
Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller sped home in a Bahamian record time of 2 minutes 56.72 seconds, Miller passing American Angelo Taylor with just 50 metres left to huge roars from the crowd.

Bryshon Nellum, Joshua Mance, Tony McQuay and Taylor claimed silver for the U.S. with a season's best time of 2:57.05, ending a run of seven successive golds in the event.

The gold was a first in men's track and field for Bahamas.

Trinidad and Tobago's Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte and Deon Lendore won bronze with hosts Britain just outside the medals in fourth.

The U.S. had finished ahead of the Bahamas in Beijing four years ago to take gold in an Olympic record time of 2 minutes 55.39 seconds - the second fastest performance ever - but their team in London was much weaker.

American 2008 Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, a first-choice relay option, injured his hamstring moments into his title defence on Saturday and pulled out of the Games, while Manteo Mitchell suffered a broken leg during the relay heats.

Double U.S. relay gold medallist Jeremy Wariner was also unfit to run in London.

Defending champions Jamaica, without the rested Usain Bolt, advanced to the men's 4x100 metres final with a blistering time as did the United

States, to set up another mouth-watering showdown when Bolt will return hoping to complete his "double-treble" having bagged the 100m and 200m.

The United States, anchored by 100m bronze medallist Justin Gatlin, won their semi in 37.38 and Jamaica, with 100 and 200 runner-up Yohan Blake running the third leg took theirs in 37.39, the third and fourth-fastest times ever recorded.

Both squads have fresh blood to bring in as the U.S. did not risk Tyson Gay or Ryan Bailey, their two best performers in the 100m and still posted an American national record.

Canada, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago and France are likely to be fighting out for the bronze - a medal the host nation would have had in their sights after finishing not far behind the Jamaicans in what would have been a sharp 37.93.

Meseret Defar's only focus this season was to reclaim the Olympic 5,000 metres title she last won in 2004 and the Ethiopian succeeded with a final

decisive surge down the home straight.

All the pre-race talk had been about her compatriot Dibaba, aiming to add the 5,000 title to the 10,000 she won last week for a second Olympic double-double, and Kenyan world champion Vivian Cheruiyot but Defar upstaged them both, albeit with a relatively slow time of 15:04.25.

Defar became the first woman to win the Olympic 5,000 final twice since its introduction in 1996.

World record-holder Dibaba was running in her third distance race of the London Olympics and her tired legs had no response to Defar's turn of speed over the last 100 metres.

She faded to third as Cheruiyot, who won bronze in the 10,000, also overtook her to cross the line in 15:04.73.

The Netherlands won their second Olympic hockey gold in a row by beating world champions Argentina 2-0 with both goals scored from penalty corners in the second half.

The Dutch, playing in front of a sea of orange fans, took the lead from a penalty corner in the 45th minute.

Argentina's goalkeeper Florencia Mutio saved Maartje Paumen's direct shot but had no chance of stopping Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel's rebound.

Paumen then scored with a trademark penalty corner - a hard drag flick just below the crossbar - to wrap up the victory.

South Korean Hwang Kyung-seon defended her Olympic taekwondo title by beating Turkey's Nur Tatar in the welterweight (67KG) division.

Hwang had vowed to win gold in London after managing only a bronze at the world championships in Korea last year, and the 26-year-old enjoyed a comfortable 12-5 win over European champion Tatar to deliver South Korea's 13th gold medal of the Games.

That tally ties the overall record medal haul Korea set in Beijing four years ago, and with Cha Dong-min and Lee In-jong set to compete in the heavyweight categories on Saturday they could soon surpass that mark.

American Paige McPherson and Helena Fromm of Germany won bronze medals through the repechage competition.

Britain's Sarah Stevenson, who won the bronze medal in Beijing, lost in the first round to McPherson.

Argentina's Sebastian Eduardo Crismanich won the men's welterweight taekwondo gold medal by beating Nicolas Garcia Hemme of Spain in the final at the London Games.

Crismanich, who won the Pan American qualifiers for London, beat Hemme 1-0 in a cagey final to win Argentina's first Olympic taekwondo medal. The Argentine scored the deciding point with seconds remaining then survived an onslaught to seal the gold.

Britain's Lutalo Muhammad, controversially selected in place of world number one Aaron Cook, lost to Hemme in the quarter-finals but made it through the repechage competition where he beat Armenia's Arman Yeremyan to win a bronze medal.

Italy's Mauro Sarmiento took the other bronze.

Reigning Olympic champions United States set up a mouthwatering gold medal rematch with Spain by thrashing Argentina 109-83 in the men's basketball tournament.

Spain, who beat Russia 67-59 in their semi-final, lost 118-107 to the Americans in a close final at the Beijing Games.

The U.S. and Spain will play on Sunday for the title when Argentina and Russia battle for the bronze medal.

South Korea took their first Olympic soccer medal with goals from Park Chu-young and skipper Koo Ja-cheol that secured the bronze when they beat Asian rivals Japan 2-0.

The soccer tournament has been marked by massive crowds and more than 56,000 watched a fiercely fought battle at the Millennium Stadium between the two beaten semi-finalists, settled by goals on either side of halftime.

The game also produced seven yellow cards, four for the Koreans and three for Japan.

After weathering some early Japan pressure, Park put the Koreans ahead when he powered through on goal and fired past Japan keeper Shuichi Gonda at the near post after 38 minutes.

Japan came back strongly at the start of the second half but did not take their opportunities and found themselves 2-0 down when Koo doubled Korea's lead in the 57th minute.

Japan battled to the finish and thought they had pulled one back three minutes from time when skipper Maya Yoshida headed in a corner only for the referee to rule it out for a foul.

Saturday's final sees Brazil bid to win their first gold against a Mexico side who are in the Olympic final for the first time.

A win would give Mexico their first gold medal in soccer and also their first gold from these London Games.