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Felix, Merritt help bring U.S. medal total to 31 in track

Felix, Merritt help bring U.S. medal total to 31 in track

Felix, Merritt help bring U.S. medal total to 31 in track

Team USA's women's 4x100m relay team had to overcome more than the disqualification in the preliminaries, which they challenged and had overturned, punching a ticket to the finals to win gold.

One day after seeing its Olympic hopes almost dashed following a bobbled baton, the USA women's 4x100 relay team claimed gold with a time of 41.01 seconds and defended its medal from the 2012 London Games. This year, she ran the third leg Friday as the US won its semifinal. Over the second and third laps, Americans Natasha Hastings and Phyllis Francis held big leads, only to have them dwindle as they legged out their final meters.

Jamaica took silver and Britain got bronze.

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LaShawn Merritt, a graduate of Portsmouth's Wilson High, anchored the US 4x400-meter relay to a gold medal. Merritt, the 2008 Olympic 400m champion, ran the anchor leg and crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 57.30 seconds. The Jamaicans brought the baton home 0.86 of a second later.

She has a shot at another medal on Saturday in the 4x400 relay.

That was wacky. But the nights biggest surprise came from Matthew Centrowitz, who shocked the field in a slow 1,500-meter final and became the first American to win a gold in the “metric mile” since 1908. He was caught in the tail wind of South African Wayde van Nierkerks world-record 400 run earlier in the week and settled for bronze.

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