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United States powers to record-breaking 4 x 400m Relay gold

Updated: 2008-08-23 23:00:12
United States powers to record-breaking 4 x 400m Relay gold
David Neville (R) of the United States competes. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

(BEIJING, August 23) -- The United States set an Olympic record as they successfully defended their gold medal in the Men's 4 x 400m Relay at the National Stadium on Saturday, August 23.

The US runners dictated the race from start to finish, with 400m gold medalist LaShawn Merritt establishing a slight lead at the first change.

Angelo Taylor and David Neville further extended the gap, and by the time anchor Jeremy Wariner was handed the baton, victory was all but assured. Beijing 2008 silver medalist Wariner crossed the finish line in an Olympic record of 2:55.39.

The fight was on for silver and bronze, with Belgium and the Bahamas chasing the United States in the early stages of the race.

In the final leg, Christopher Brown of the Bahamas overtook Belgium's anchor Arnaud Ghislain in the back straight to move into the silver-medal position.

Russia's Denis Alexeev then overtook a fading Ghislain on the final bend and made a last-ditch effort down the home straight to catch Brown.

The Bahamas runner just managed to hold on, however, winning silver by just three hundredths of a second, in 2:58.03.

Russia set a national record to win bronze in 2:58.06. Great Britain was fourth, in 2:58.81, with Belgium fifth, in a national record of 2:59.37.

The United States sits at the top of the Athletics medal table with 23 -- seven gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals.

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