In the late 2000s and early 2010s, we saw Usain Bolt dominate the sprinting scene, breaking records left, right and centre, winning medals for fun and becoming a global superstar on his way to the top.
The hardest of them all will have to be the 4x1oom relay race as not only do you have to focus on the baton handovers, you also need all three of your teammates to perform to have a chance at tasting victory.
The year 2012 saw us treated to arguably the greatest ever relay race we’ve ever seen in the gold medal sprint, with America and Jamaica putting on a spectacle, giving us the best race we’ve ever seen.
America’s line-up included Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey. They were up against Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt. The two greatest sprinting nations, it would’ve taken a huge shock for these two to not be the battle for the gold medal.
The first three legs of the relay were incredibly tight, with America holding a narrow advantage over the Jamaicans, who had their strongest weapon still to run.
Blake handed over to Bolt with Gay doing the same to Bailey, with the Jamaican needing the performance of a lifetime to overcome the deficit and acquire another gold medal for his collection.
He powered through the final 100 metres to clinch the sacred gold medal for himself and his team, as the Jamaicans set a new world record, registering 36.84 seconds as their collective time.
Prior to the race, the world record was 37.04 seconds and Olympic record was slightly slower at 37.10, the Jamaicans smashed that to etch their names into the history books.
America’s quad pushed them all the way and they themselves posted an impressive time. They managed to match the world record of 37.04 seconds.
The fact a new world record was the only way the Americans could’ve taken to the top step during the medal ceremony shows us just how incredible the Jamaicans were and completely in a league of their own that year.
Their 36.84 seconds time is still the world record today a decade on, it will take something extraordinary to set a new record, we were truly blessed to be able to witness those incredible scenes at the London Stadium, seeing Bolt and co. at their best in the UK.
Fans reacted to the amazing race, commenting: “Blake received the baton at 19.1, gave it to bolt at 28.1. He ran 9 sec. Bolt received at 29.1, finished at 36.84, he ran 100m at 8.74!”
“Blake to Bolt… The two fastest humans ever handing the baton to one another… Spectacular!”
“Can we all take a moment to appreciate Yohan Blake who made up so much ground in the 3rd leg. That is probably the best 3rd leg run I’ve ever seen. INSANE!!!”
“That Yohan Blake sprint is magical! What a finish by Bolt.”