Carmelita Jeter powered the United States 4x100 metre women's quartet to a world record time of 40.82 seconds giving them the gold medal for the first time at the Olympics since 1996. Jeter screamed down the stretch to cross the finish line here Friday night, pointing the baton at the clock to signal that the previous record was erased from the books.The US quartet of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter shattered the previous record of 41.37, which had been set by the German Democratic Republic in 1985 by over half a second Friday night. Jamaica finished second, while Ukraine won a very creditable bronze medal.
The race had always promised to be fast with Jamaica fielding a team led by 100 metre gold medallist Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and including, Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell Brown and Kerron Stewart.
Fraser-Pryce may have been Olympic 100 metres champion, but she was always trailing Madison, who flew out of the blocks and handed over a lead to Felix.
The new 200 metre gold medallist, who is having a fantastic Olympics, widened the lead. Knight held the gap and Jeter tore down the final straight raising the baton in triumph as she crossed the line.
The second relay of the night had nine finalists after South Africa was reinstated after crashing out Thursday. The Bahamas led after the first two laps before Toby McQuay put the US ahead going into the last 400 metres.
That only set the stage for greater drama as Ramon Miller ran the race of his life to close a three-metre gap on US anchor Angelo Taylor.