US Track Relay Record Delivers Strong Message Ahead of 2016 Summer Olympics

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US Track Relay Record Delivers Strong Message Ahead of 2016 Summer Olympics
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

The United States men's 4x400-meter relay team sent a strong message to the rest of the world at the 2014 World Indoor Championships this past weekend in Sopot, Poland, setting a new world record en route to a gold-medal finish.

According to the Associated Press via ESPN.com, the four-man team of Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler III and Calvin Smith Jr. finished in a time of three minutes and 2.13 seconds to beat out Great Britain and Jamaica, who took home silver and bronze, respectively. 

The winning time was 0.70 seconds faster than the previous world record set back in 1999. 

Although the record-breaking unit lacks star power, there's no denying the overall talent on Team USA's radar ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Clemons, who also won bronze in the individual 400 meters over the weekend, showered his teammates with praise and commended the organization's ability to field world-class talent year after year, per the AP via ESPN.com:

"The combination of these guys is amazing. They brought it out of me...We never lose runners, lose people. We just keep reloading"

Alik Keplicz/Associated Press

The dominant effort capped off a stellar weekend for the Americans, who took home eight gold medals and 12 medals in all. To put the U.S.'s dominance into perspective, Russia was second-best with three gold medals.

Although Clemons and his fellow record-breaking teammates will have an incredible hurdle to clear two years from now in terms of making the cut for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team, their performance in Sopot highlights Team USA's depth and suggests more positive results to come.

Even if Verburg and others aren't representing the Stars and Stripes in Rio, they're remarkable display at the world indoor championships has set the bar sky-high for American track and field athletes and will ultimately push the nation's top Olympic runners to be even better ahead of the 2016 Olympic trials.

By snapping a 15-year record, the U.S. men's 4x400 relay team has generated tremendous buzz in a time when Olympic sports are buried below all others and has also delivered a glimpse into the future of U.S. Track and Field. 

Even if it's only potential for now, the show-stopping performance is likely to inspire up-and-coming American athletes. 

Although this performance will likely be forgotten by the time the 2016 Summer Olympics roll around, there's no doubt that it's a tone-setter for the entire U.S. team and a good omen for the biggest test of all two years from now.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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