Solomon Sets PR In Finishing Fourth In Olympic 800m Final|
Aug. 9, 2012
Duane Solomon placed fourth with a personal best in the men's 800m final and Josh Mance and Bryshon Nellum helped lead USA's 4x400m relay team into the finals at the 2012 London Olympics today (Aug. 9). Former Trojan and 2012 Olympic 400m IH champion Felix Sanchez ran for the Dominican team in the 4x400m relay race, but his team was disqualified.
In an amazing men's 800m final, former Trojan Duane Solomon (2005-08) took fourth place with a PR of 1:42.82, running from sixth to fourth over the final 70 meters. The race winner David Rodisha of Kenya had promised he would break his world record and delivered with a blistering time of 1:40.91, beating his old standard by 0.1 seconds. All but one of the runners in the field set a PR with the lone exception posting a season best. The second place finisher was 18-year-old Nijel Amos of Botswana and he ran 1:41.73 to set a world junior record.
Mance and Nellum led the American team to the men's 4x400m finals by placing second in its heat and second overall with a time of 2:58.87, just thousandths of a second behind the Bahamas which also posted an official time of 2:58.87. The USA leadoff leg Manteo Mitchell gave the baton to Mance in sixth place, and the Trojan junior to be moved team USA into second place following his lap. He handed the baton off to 2012 NCAA 400m champion Tony McQuay and he closed the gap on second and handed the baton off to the USA anchor Nellum. Nellum also ran a strong leg and closed in for a photo finish with USA taking second with the same time as the team from the Bahamas. It was later discovered that Mitchell ran the final 200m with a broken left fibia, but he wouldn't quit and posted a 46.1 split. The splits for the other runners were 44.6 for Mance, 43.65 for McQuay and 44.37 for Nellum. The USA team already without the services due to injury of top 400m runner LaShawn Merritt and former Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner, now will look to the 400m IH hurdler group to fill out the relay roster. The men's 4x400m relay final will be tomorrow (Aug. 10) at 1:20 p.m.
"It just means we've got to step up to the plate for the United States of America," said Mance. "What we don't do is come down, get depressed, and feel like we're hurting now. We are all strong runners. The USA has some of the best 400m runners in the world, so we know that we can still get it done."
"This is what we have been training for all year," added Nellum. "When one goes down, the next one steps up. We're all a family. We're all a team. We look out for each other. Our main goal is to step up to the plate when there is need. I'm ready to run. I'm ready to compete. I'm ready."
Sanchez ran a 44.8 split for the Dominican Republic team which looked like it had secured the eighth spot in the finals, but after the race they were disqualified for a relay takeover outside the takeover zone on one of the exchanges.