The relays provided a fitting climax to the Olympic events for Athletics but also re-in forced my belief that it is, of course, the greatest sport as far as I'm concerned and I was right when the USA Women's 4x100 team team set a new world record of 40.82 on Friday and shattered the old world record by a massive 0.55 seconds. The old record was 41.37 set in 1985 by German Democratic Republic. The Nigerian team anchored by Blessing Okagbare placed fourth and missed out of the medals table.
Bahamas won the Men's 4x400 Gold, USA won the silver while Trinidad and Tobago won the bronze medal. I expected the US team to taste defeat in this event that many considered to belong to the Americans. USA was disadvantaged when Lashawn Merritt was injured in the heats of the 400 meters and they had no choice but to use Angelo Taylor as the anchor.
East Africans swept the Women's 5000 meters, Ethiopian former world record holder Meseret Defar won the gold medal, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya won the silver and the defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia got the bronze medal.
For the Men's 5000, the British crowd was great in urging their boy - Mo Farrah to win another gold medal. It did not look like it was going to be easy for Farrah because the Africans were getting tired of him getting the better of them but what a race and he showed why he has been described by no less a personality than Sebastian Coe as the greatest British Athlete ever.
The Men's 4x100m produced the biggest spectacle with Jamaica once again proving not only unstoppable but also claiming another world record to boot. You will think that a determined USA squad inspired by their Women who just shattered the world record to go all out for the gold. They looked to be costing by the second leg, but Yohan Blake for Jamaica changed the equation and Usain Bolt raced against time to finish what was a flawless race.
For the Women's 4x00, the USA squad was just too strong for other nations, I expect Jamaica, Russia and Britain to fight for the remaining medals. Nigeria is the only African country in the final and their last hope to medal in athletics, but it wasn’t to be because they were running against tough and better opponents.
The Women's 800 was so deep and I believed that the Africans will have an edge over the Europeans. I was pretty sure that Mariya Savinova the reigning world champion from Russia will give the Africans a good run. My favorites were Caster Semenya of S/Africa and Pamela Jelimo the defending champion from Kenya but Caster ran a rather strange race leaving it late and Silver could have been Gold which ultimately went to the Russian.
The Women's high jump the Men's Javelin final also provided sheer drama.
The last two nights provided us with so much excitement and showed once again why it is the big ticket event. Everyone wanted to be there to see the records broken and those relays showed just how fast human can run. It wasn’t just the winners who broke records. Even the losers took records with them.
If Athletics didn’t make your day, then nothing else did at this Olympics. These were truly memorable nights.