LONDON, England -- Texas A&M sprinters accounted for two gold medals and one bronze during Friday’s action at Olympic Stadium. Demetrius Pinder split 43.5 seconds for the Bahamas as they won a first-ever gold medal in the 4 x 400 relay and Deon Lendore anchored Trinidad and Tobago to bronze with a 44.73 split.
“The U.S. guys know we’ve been just behind them or thereabouts for a long time,” noted Pinder. “It’s amazing we’re finally taking home the gold. This is for everyone back home. We can’t wait to celebrate.”
Lendore stated: “Being part of a bronze medal team is an amazing feeling. Knowing I’m a young sprinter and it was my first Olympics, I’m very proud. I thank my teammates for believing that I could do the best that I could.
“Anchoring the relay was very high tension, but coach told me that I was ready since I anchored for Texas A&M the whole season.”
The United States women set a world-record of 40.82 in winning the 4 x 100 relay that Jeneba Tarmoh ran on in the prelims the previous day. In the final the relay consisted of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter.
Pinder gave the Bahamas a lead on his second leg carry following the lead-off effort by Chris Brown, who split 44.9. The United States team held the lead on the third leg when Tony McQuay (43.41) passed Michael Mathieu (44.25). On the anchor carry, Ramon Miller (44.01) cruised behind America’s Angelo Taylor (44.85) through the first 300m and then passed him coming down the homestretch.
The Bahamas set a national record of 2:56.72 to defeat the American’s 2:57.05. The last time the United States had silver, from a loss on the Olympic track, came in Helsinki at the 1952 Olympics.
That time makes the Bahamas the third fastest country all-time behind the United States and Great Britain. It was the seventh fastest time run in Olympic history.
For Trinidad the three first legs included Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, and Ade Alleyne-Forte. Solomon is coached by Mark Henry, a brother of A&M’s head coach Pat Henry. The Trinidad squad posted a bronze medal time of 2:59.40.
Lendore held off a late charge by Martyn Rooney (44.09) of Great Britain to maitain Trinidad’s hold on bronze. Rooney closed within a couple of strides of Lendore by the finish line as the British were fourth in 3:29.53.
“I looked on the track and saw his shawdow,” noted Lendore. “I said there is no way I’m giving this up.”
The last medal Trinidad won the in the 4 x 400 was also bronze, back in 1964.
Rounding out the 4 x 400 field were Russia (3:00.09), Belgium (3:01.83), Venezuela (3:02.18) and South Africa (3:03.46) while Cuba did not finish.
The American women’s 4x100 bettered the world record of 41.37 from 1985 and the Olympic record of 41.60 from 1980 that were both set by East German relay crews. Finishing second in the final was Jamaica with a national record of 41.41 while Ukraine set a national record of 42.04 for third.