Broken leg fails to stop a gritty Mitchell
Manteo Mitchell heard the POP! and knew it wasn't good. "It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half," he said.india Updated: Aug 10, 2012 23:30 IST
Manteo Mitchell heard the POP! and knew it wasn't good. "It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half," he said.
The American sprinter had half a lap to go in the first leg of the 4x400-meter relay preliminaries Thursday and a choice to make: keep running or stop and lose the race. To him, it was never much of a choice.
He finished the lap and limped to the side to watch the Americans finish the race and qualify easily for the final. A few hours later, doctors confirmed what he suspected: He had run the last 200 meters with a broken left fibula.
"I heard it and I felt it," Mitchell told The Associated Press. "But I figured it's what almost any person would've done in that situation."
Mitchell finished his heat in 46.1 seconds, and the United States tied the Bahamas in the second heat in 2 minutes, 58.87 seconds the fastest time ever run in the first round of the relay at the Olympics.
He credited something more than simple adrenaline for pushing him the rest of the way around the track.
"Faith, focus, finish. Faith, focus, finish. That's the only thing I could say to myself," he said.
Kanaeva on track
Russia's Evgeniya Kanaeva is back on course for retaining her rhythmic gymnastic gold medal after qualifying for the individual final in first place at the Olympics.
The reigning world champion finished Friday's qualifying stage with a total score of 116.000, 1.45 points ahead of teammate Daria Dmitrieva.
Dmitrieva had taken a surprising lead after Thursday's first two rotations, taking advantage of Kanaeva's mistake in the hoop.
But Kanaeva showed her class with a flawless performance in the ribbon.