Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: August 10, 2012
Date Finished: August 11, 2012
|Silver:||Trinidad and Tobago|
Jamaica was heavily favored to win gold in this race. They were led by [Usain Bolt], who had won the 100-200 double in both 2008 and already in London. [Yohan Blake] had been second to both races in London and was the 2011 World Champion in the 100. They were without former 100 world record holder [Asafa Powell], injured in the 100 final, but would lead off with [Nesta Carter] and [Michael Frater], and seemed impregnable. The Americans had [Tyson Gay], the 2007 100/200 World Champion, and [Justin Gatlin], 2004 Olympic 100 gold medalist and third in the short sprint in London, but they just didn't seem to have the firepower to challenge the Jamaicans. In addition, US sprint relay teams had shown a frequent propensity to either drop the baton or run out of the zone and had not finished at several recent major internationals. Nobody else was given a chance at gold and the bronze was wide-open.
Carter put the Jamaicans ahead on the opener, with American [Trell Kimmons] trailing slightly. The race was very close, however, for the next two legs, as Gatlin/Frater matched second legs in 8.9, and Gay/Blake both ran 9.0 around the final curve. But this gave the lead to Usain Bolt on the anchor leg, to be challenged by American newcomer [Ryan Bailey], who had been fifth in the open 100 metres. Bailey acquitted himself well, but he could not catch Bolt. The USA finished in 37.04, matching the existing world record, but Bolt brought Jamaica home in 36.84, the first time ever under 37 seconds for the gold and a new world record. Canada came home in third, it seemed, but was disqualified for a lane violation and the bronze went to Trinidad & Tobago.
Jamaica thus defended its gold medal in the event, and Bolt had doubled up with three gold medals in the 100, 200, and sprint relay in both 2008 and 2012, the first runner ever to do so. For the Americans it seemed to be some measure of redemption as they did successfully finish the race with good baton exchanges, but were simply beaten by a faster team. However, in 2014 Tyson Gay tested positive for doping, and his penalty was applied retroactively, which caused the US relay team in this event to be disqualified, although that was not announced by the IOC until May 2015.
|2||Trinidad and Tobago||TTO||Silver|
|6 h2 r1/2||Poland||POL|
|7 h2 r1/2||Germany||GER|
|8 h2 r1/2||Hong Kong||HKG|
|4 h1 r1/2||Brazil||BRA|
|5 h1 r1/2||China||CHN|
|6 h1 r1/2||Saint Kitts and Nevis||SKN|
|7 h1 r1/2||Italy||ITA|