Silver in the 4x400 Relay
by Devon Jeffreys
Given the sheer volume of injuries their quarter-mile relay group experienced in London, it's a wonder Team USA was even able to assemble a group of four to lace up for the final in the 4x400-meter relay.
But not only did Team USA take the track, they medaled yet again, taking silver in a time of 2:57.05. Anchored by Angelo Taylor, the Americans finished just .33 seconds behind the Bahaman team that won gold.
Angelo and the U.S. 4x400 relay team overcame a slew of injuries to win silver at the London Olympics (Getty Images).
Team USA was originally supposed to consist of Angelo , LaShawn Merritt, Jeremy Wariner and a fourth man from a group of first-time Olympians. But after Merritt and Wariner injured their hamstrings, the Americans were left with just Angelo and a group of three Olympic rookies. And one of the most promising of those newcomers went down too, as Manteo Mitchell broke his leg in the qualifying run.
Still, anchored by AT, the team raced to silver thanks to great legs by Bryshon Nellum, Josh Mance and Tony McQuay.
"I feel like we have the best 400m in the world, and we did take some hits this year," Angelo said. "But even though we took a hit, we were able to put together a team that could take home the silver. Tip of my cap to Bahamas. They ran a great relay. Congratulations on your gold."
Watch Angelo's family root him on in the 4x400 below, courtesy of NBC Atlanta:
Team USA was actually in the running for another gold as Angelo took the baton with one lap to go, after an outstanding third lap from McQuay.
"Tony ran a phenomenal leg and got me where I wanted to be, which is the lead," he said. "We had a lot of young guys step up and help us."
In the final lap, AT went head-to-head with Ramon Miller of the Bahamas. Angelo maintained the lead through the first 300 meters as they dashed around the oval. But it was in the homestretch where Miller struck, passing Angelo for the lead.
"Ramon ran a phenomenal leg," Angelo said. "I was right where I wanted to be at 300, and I tried to kick to come home. Unfortunately Ramon had more than I did."
Angelo searched for another gear to try and catch Miller, but the finish line came before he could reach the speedy Bahaman, who crossed in first. After the race Angelo lamented the end of Team USA's streak and what he could have done differently to keep it going.
"I really feel bad for [my teammates]. I really didn't hold up the tradition," he said. "I think I floated a little bit too much on the backstretch, got out of rhythm. I didn't come into my second gear until about 50 to go, but by that time he had passed me. It was too late. It was tough. I thought I could get home but it was exceptionally close. We gave our best."
The silver medal is Angelo's fifth in his Olympic career. He won gold in the 4x400 and 400-meter hurdles in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics and then repeated that unprecedented double in Beijing during 2008 Olympics.
Angelo will finish up the 2012 season in Europe, where he will run three more events this month.
The first of those is on Friday, August 17 in Stockholm, Sweden at the Samsung Diamond League DN Galan meet, where he'll run the 400-meter hurdles.
Though Angelo will be running a few more events in 2012, he's already fixed his focus on the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, where he will be gunning for his first Worlds medal in the 400mH.
"Definitely going for a World Championship medal," he said. "I still have passion for the sport and still want to compete."
- Bahamas wins men's 4x400 relay (ESPN.com, August 10, 2012)
- Bahamas end U.S. 4x400 dominance (Reuters, August 10, 2012)
- Bahamas wins 1,600 relay ahead of hobbled U.S. team (Fox News, August 10, 2012)
- Bahamas takes down USA in 4x400 relay final (USA Today, August 10, 2012)
- Georgia's Angelo Taylor wins silver in relay (11Alive.com, August 11, 2012)
- Team USA loses 4X400 relay to Bahamas (The Denver Post, August 10, 2012)
- Women break 4x1 WR; men set AR in semis; men's 4x4 takes silver (USATF, August 10, 2012)