Aug. 11, 2012
LONDON – Former Tennessee track & field standouts DeeDee Trotter and Justin Gatlin capped off a thrilling Olympic Games for the UT program on Saturday, as Trotter led the U.S 4x400-meter relay team to a gold medal and Gatlin claimed silver in the 4x100m relay for the Americans.
Trotter, who won gold in the same event at the 2004 Athens Games, ran a scorching opening leg for the foursome, finishing in 3:16.87. The former All-American with the Lady Vols burst out of the block and opened a massive lead before handing off to Allyson Felix. The time was the third fastest in U.S. history and marked the fifth-consecutive Olympic gold medal for the U.S. in the event.
“We thought it was going to be really tight,” said Trotter. “My job was to get us ahead of the others. We were going for some records tonight so my goal was to get out fast.”
Russia (3:20.23) took silver and Jamaica (3:20.95) finished with the bronze.
Just over 30 minutes later, Gatlin and his teammates posted a national-record 37.04 in the 4x100m relay to earn the silver medal. Anchored by Usain Bolt, Jamaica shattered the world record with a 36.84 to win the gold.
Gatlin, who took home the bronze medal in the 100m last Sunday, ran the second leg for the U.S. The team’s 37.04 matched the world record set by Jamaica at last year’s World Championships.
With the pair’s medals, the UT track & field program leaves London with six total medals, making it the most successful Olympic Games in program history. Trotter and Gatlin both picked up two, while Tianna Madison and Aries Merritt claimed gold in the 4x100m relay and 110m hurdles, respectively.
In total, the men’s and women’s track programs have won a combined 16 Olympic medals, including eight gold.