After a near-disaster in the opening round, the U.S. successfully defended its Olympic 4x100m gold medal Friday night in Rio.
Running in the inside lane in the final, the U.S. clocked 41.01 seconds, the second fastest time ever. At the 2012 Olympics, the U.S. ran the fastest time ever, 40.82 seconds.
The U.S. team in Rio featured, in order, Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner and Tori Bowie.
“I had the easiest job of all,” Bowie said to NBC’s Lewis Johnson. “My teammates brought me the stick, and all I had to do was bring it to the finish line.”
The United States came agonizingly close to not even advancing to the 4x100m final.
In Thursday morning’s preliminary heat, Felix stumbled as she approached Gardner, and the U.S. women dropped the baton. But replays showed that a Brazilian runner bumped Felix as she entered the exchange zone. The Brazilian team was disqualified, and the U.S. team was granted a solo re-run. The U.S. team took advantage of their second opportunity, clocking 41.77 seconds, the fastest time of the day.
READ MORE AT NBCOlympics.com