Allyson Felix's gold in 200 leads U.S. medal haul

Allyson Felix celebrates her win in the women's Allyson Felix celebrates her win in the women's 200-meter final during the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Aug. 8, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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LONDON -- In all of Olympic history, has there ever been a race as glittering as the women's 200-meter final Wednesday night?

Likely not.

The lineup:

Running out of lane four, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica.

Running out of lane five, Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica.

Running out of lane six, Sanya Richards-Ross of USA.

Running out of lane seven, Allyson Felix of USA.

Running out of lane nine, Carmelita Jeter of USA.

Fort Knox may have been a more appropriate site than East London for this summit meeting of multiple-medaled women.

And the race did not disappoint.

Felix, runner-up to Campbell-Brown at the last two Olympic Games, turned the tables this time and won it going away in 21.88 seconds. She left no doubts, powering away to a clear win in the final meters.

Fraser-Pryce, already the 100-meter champion of the London Games, was second in the best time of her life at 22.09. On her heels for the bronze in 22.14 was Jeter.

But relegated to fourth, after winning the 200 at both Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, was Campbell-Brown in 22.38. Richards-Ross, already winner of the Olympic 400, settled for fifth in 22.39.

"It's been a long time coming," Felix said. "I mean finally. I am so overjoyed. It''s been a long road but I never wanted to give up."

There were "wows" all over the stadium as the results were posted, It was one of the grandest collections of track celebrities in a single race in years.

With the 1-3 finish by Felix and Jeter, Team USA was headed for its most successful day yet at Olympic Stadium, The net haul was three golds, two silvers, two bronzes.

High hurdlers Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson ran 1-2 after world record-holder Dayron Robles of Cuba failed to finish with a leg injury. Merritt's gold was the first the U.S. men in London, as well as America's first Olympic high hurdles win since Allen Johnson's victory in the Atlanta Games.

Four-time women's world long jump champion Brittney Reese took the gold with a winning span of 23-41/2 with teammate Janay DeLoach third at 22-71/4. And Lashinda Demus earned a silver in the women's 400-meter final.

After five days of intermittent tidings at the Games, U.S. track and field athletes had finally Gone on a big-time tear and lived up to their billing as the world's number one team.

Meanwhile, the table was being set for a sizzling men's 200-meter final Thursday night.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica will run for his second gold of the Games, after breezing through a 20.18 semifinal.

But Bolt ranked only fifth in those semifinals as Jamaica teammate Yohan Blake (20.01), American Wallace Spearmon Jr. (20.02) and France's Christophe LeMaitre (20.03) led the way.

 

Games over for Van Dalen

Lucy Van Dalen's Olympics are over. Van Dalen, the NCAA indoor mile champion for Stony Brook, running for her native New Zealand, was outclassed in her semifinal of the women's 1,500 meters.

Her 4:06.97 performance placed her 11th in her heat and 23rd overall in the 24-runner field. It took a 4:02.99 to advance. "It's still been a wonderful Olympic experience for me," she said. "This was a great opportunity for me at this stage of my career."

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