I / London August 11, 2012, 10:42 IST
The United States women's 4x100 metres relay team laid to rest one of the longest-standing and most controversial world records as they took the Olympic title.
The American quartet, anchored with a stunning final leg by Carmelita Jeter yesterday, timed 40.82sec to slice more than half a second off the 27-year-old record of 41.37sec set by the former East Germany in 1985.
The old mark was one of the handful of records that had fallen under suspicion after the extent of state-sponsored doping in the Communist country emerged following the fall of the Berlin Wall four years after it was set.
After the women's success in the Olympic Stadium, the United States' evening ended in disappointing fashion as the Bahamas inflicted a shock defeat in the men's 4x400 metres relay.
It was the first time an American team contesting an Olympic 4x400m relay final had been beaten since the 1972 Munich Games.
The victory was made sweeter for the Bahamians because it was a first Olympic athletics gold medal for their men.
The American women - who ended a 16 year Olympic gold drought - may have relegated their bitter Jamaican rivals into second but the latter's male counterparts can gain revenge on Saturday.
With Usain Bolt rested, they sauntered through their heat to set up what could be another historic night for the double sprint champion who is eyeing a repeat of his haul of three golds from Beijing.