The United States is bound to be contenders in the women’s 4x100-meter relay, and Carmelita Jeter is the reason that they’ll take gold.
Team USA won their heat and nearly broke the Olympic record in doing so, and did it without the aid of Jeter. Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight, Lauryn Williams and Jeneba Tarmoh combined to run the relay in 41.64 seconds, nearly a full second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.
Team USA was in good position to at least place in the 4x100-meter relay, but with Jeter they're bound to take gold with ease. Jeter is one of the fastest women that Team USA has and it’s a very smart decision to insert her for such a short distance.
Jeter excels in short distance races and she’s already won two medals in the London Games. Jeter finished first in the Women’s 100-meter dash Round 1 and semifinal races, but lost the final to Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by 0.03 seconds to win the silver medal.
Jeter looked to redeem herself in the Women’s 200-meter final—placing first and second in Round 1 and the semifinal, respectively—but ended up placing third behind teammate Felix and Fraser-Pryce.
There’s no way that Jeter comes home without a gold medal in her suitcase. She’s too fast and too determined that let that happen. She won the 100 and 4x100-meter gold just last year at the World Championships, so obviously she can pull it out. She also has the second-fastest time ever in the 100.
There’s also reason to believe that Jeter still has a chip on her shoulder after not qualifying for the Olympic Games in 2008. Yes, she’s already proved that she’s capable of winning medals for Team USA, but winning a gold medal is much more different than silver or bronze. The 4x100-meter is her best chance to do that.
Jeter will be running alongside three of the fastest women in the United States and each of the four women has an important role. Being that Jeter is the fastest American when it comes to short distances, this race should be a piece of cake as long as she doesn’t falter during the handoff. Her hands need to be there just like her legs will be, otherwise gold will not be a lock.
Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica are tough competitors when it comes to short distance races and winning the gold won’t be an easy feat. Team USA will ensure that they add another gold medal to their already impressive tally by substituting Jeter into the race.