The Bahamas smashed America’s 28-year domination of the men’s Olympic 4×400-meter relay Friday (Aug. 10), taking the gold medal with a dramatic final leg.
Bahamian Ramon Miller passed American Angelo Taylor with just 50 meters left in the race, finishing with a record time for his nation of 2 minutes, 56.72 seconds.
“Miller had a phenomenal leg,” said Taylor, who took the baton with a lead only to lose it in the home stretch. “I really feel bad for [teammates Bryshon Nellum, Joshua Mance and Tony McQuay]. I really didn’t hold up the tradition.”
The USA’s second-place time of 2:57.05 marked the end of seven consecutive gold medals in the event. Their withdrawal from the 1972 Munich Games was counted as a loss, but the last time the USA were defeated in competition was at the 1952 Helsinki games. (The United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games.)
The win by the Bahamian quartet of Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Miller was the country’s first gold medal in men’s track and field.
Trinidad and Tobago took bronze with a finish time of 2:59.40.
Double amputee Oscar Pistorius, the first amputee runner in track and field to compete at the Olympics, got the South African baton in last place and was the last to finish.