Five Best Performances in Track and Field During the London Olympics

Samantha SmithContributor IAugust 15, 2012

Five Best Performances in Track and Field During the London Olympics

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    And it’s over. The Summer Olympics have sadly come to a close.

    Within the past two weeks, the world witnessed moments of triumph and moments of devastation.

    In the track and field world, many proved they belonged at the top of the podium, especially among athletes from the United States.

    Take a look at the top five moments for Americans in Track and Field in the London Olympics.

5. Men’s 10,000 Meter – Galen Rupp

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    News flash: Apparently the United States actually has some decent distance runners. For the first time in years it seems as if the Kenyans and Ethiopians didn’t dominate the event.

    I hate watching the longer races because first they’re really long…that’s 30 minutes of my life we’re talking about. Second, usually the U.S. never places.

    But this Olympics, Galen Rupp showed that the U.S. has a new Steve Prefontaine in town. Rupp finished second, just behind his training partner from Great Britain Mo Farah, with times of 27:30.9 and 27:30.42, respectively.

    Rupp’s silver medal is the first medal in the 10,000-meter by an American in the Olympics since Billy Mills’ gold in 1964[1]



4. Men’s 1500 Meter– Leo Manzano

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    Along with sending a stacked pack of long distance runners, the U.S. showed that it had some mid-distance legs too.

    Leo Manzano ran a time of 3:34.79, finishing second behind Makhloufi Taoflk of Algeria with a time of 3:34.08.

    Manzano’s silver medal in the men’s 1,500m is the first medal by an American in this event since Jim Ryun’s silver in 1968. With the help of Matt Centrowitz, this was the best U.S. team finish in the men’s 1,500 since 1936 (2nd, 4th)[1]


3. Women’s 200 Meter- Allyson Felix

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    Allyson Felix finally took home gold with a dominating time of 21.88, while Shelly-Ann Fraser finished second at 22.09.

    After finishing second in Athens and Beijing, Felix had something to prove.

    She did it in style in London, making sure no one questioned her right at the top of the podium.

    Along with Felix’s outstanding performance, Carmelita Jeter took the bronze behind Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, ousting Veronica Campbell Brown, the two-time reigning Olympic champion.

2. Men’s Decathlon – First and Second Sweep

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    Ashton Eaton took home gold with a score of 8,869 points. Trey Hardee finished just behind him for the silver with a score of 8,671 points, vastly surpassing the rest of the field with third place finishing at 8,523.

    This was the first time since 1956 that the U.S. has taken first and second in the decathlon. Eaton also set the Olympic decathlon record in the 100 meters with a 10.35[1]



1. Women’s 4x100 Meter – United States vs. Jamaica

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    Of course the top performance of the Olympic games would have to end with a world record, and that’s what the U.S. women set out to do.

    The field in the women’s 4x100 meter was tight, but the United States team of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter made it look as if it wasn’t even a competition.

    By the time the last exchange took, second place Jamaica had no hope of catching Jeter's anchor leg.

    The U.S. not only took home gold but also shattered the world record by 0.55 seconds with a time of 40.82.