11:48 AM CDT, August 11, 2012
The U.S. 4x400-meter relay team passed the baton around in 3:16.87 to clinch its fifth-straight Olympic Gold Saturday evening. With the win Kansas track & field’s Diamond Dixon also earned the medal as she was part of the semifinal team which qualified for the final. Dixon becomes the eighth KU track & field Olympic Gold medalist and first since Al Oerter won the discus in the 1968 Mexico City Games.
On Friday Dixon ran the third leg of the 4x400-meter relay semifinal race for the U.S., turning in the second-fastest split of her four teammates (50.15). The group crossed the finish line with a commanding victory and a time of 3:22.09 to automatically advance to the Saturday final. Coaches then selected 2012 Olympic champions Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross to replace Dixon and fellow semifinal runner Keshia Baker for the final.
In the final the Americans were never tested. The group clocked in with a winning time of 3:16.87, the third-fastest in Olympic history and over three seconds ahead of the silver-medalist Russian team. The U.S. win is the fifth straight in Olympic competition.
Even though she did not compete in the final Dixon will still receive a Gold medal, making her the first female in Kansas track & field history to be an Olympic champion. It also marks the eighth time a current or former KU track & field athlete won Olympic Gold and the first time since Al Oerter claimed his fourth and final Olympic discus title in 1968.
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