It was tough, said Taylor, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 400 hurdles who placed fifth here. I thought I could get home, but it was exceptionally close.
Bahamas, the silver medalist in 2008, has a long history of track and field excellence. Four of the five Olympic gold medals it has won are in athletics.
The United States, which holds the world record, did not have its fastest foursome in the final. The teams top quarter-miler, 2008 Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt, went out during his 400 qualifier with a hamstring injury.
Then Jeremy Wariner tore his hamstring during practice. Manteo Mitchell broke his shin bone halfway through his heat Thursday but still managed to finish.
South Africa, which had been obstructed by Kenya in the semis, was reinstated for the final and started in Lane 1. By the time Oscar Pistorius received the baton for the final lap, his team was lagging in last place and he couldnt make up the gap. Pistorius was the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.
The U.S. mens 400 relay team qualified with the fastest time and an American record of 37.38, with former University of Florida football player Jeff Demps leading off and Justin Gatlin anchoring. Jamaica, with Yohan Blake in its lineup, ran a 37.39.
American Morgan Uceny, who tripped and fell in the 1,500 meters at the world championships last summer, fell again, her heels clipped just as the runners were going into the last lap in a tight bunch. Turkeys Asli Cakir Alptekin won her countrys first track and field gold medal in 4:10.23. A slow, tactical, messy race was made less satisfying by the doping suspension on Cakirs record.
Ethiopias Deseret Defar upset teammate Tirunesh Dibaba in the womens 5,000 meters.
Dibaba was attempting to win both the 10,000 and 5,000 in consecutive Olympics.
Overall, with nine finals to go, the United States leads the track and field medals standings with 26 total and eight gold.