5 things for Thursday

— Mitchell dose it for the team: Running the opening leg for Team USA in Thursday morning’s 4x400m relay semifinal, Manteo Mitchell was a pivotal part in helping his team to the final.

The Bahamas and United States finished 1-2 in the heat in identical times of 2:58.87, the fastest time ever run in the first round of the relay at the Olympic Games.

Without a doubt, it was the fastest time ever run in the Olympics by a team whose leadoff runner broke his leg midway through the race.

Mitchell, 25, was part of the Team USA relay pool after placing fifth in the 400m at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. Earlier this week in the Olympic Village, he slipped on a stairway and didn’t think much of it – until Thursday.

“Three days ago I was going up the stairs and I kind of missed one and landed awkwardly,” Mitchell said. “I got treatment and I was fine. I did workouts, and when I warmed up today I felt really well. I felt I could go 44 (seconds)-low. I got out pretty slow, but I picked it up and when I got to the 100-meter mark it felt weird. I was thinking I just didn’t feel right. As soon as I took the first step past the 200-meter mark, I felt it break. I heard it. I even put out a little war cry, but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear it. I wanted to just lie down. It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half.

“I knew if I finished strong we could still get it (the baton) around,” he continued. “I saw Josh Mance motioning me in for me to hand it off to him, which lifted me. I didn’t want to let those three guys down, or the team down, so I just ran on it. It hurt so bad. I’m pretty amazed that I still split 45 seconds on a broken leg.”

After the race, Mitchell was taken to the Athlete Village medical area, where his leg was x-rayed and diagnosed by team doctor Bob Adams as a break of his left fibula bone.

— Pistorius will run in 4×400 final: South Africa didn’t get the baton around the track in their 4×400 relay prelim but they’ll be in the finals Friday anyway… On the second leg of the relay, South Africa’s Ofentse Mogawane collided with Kenya’s Vincent Mumo Kiilu coming into the homestretch sending both men to the track… South Africa appealed and the IAAF disqualified the Kenyans and put the South Africans into the final… “(Kenya’s) runner had cut across and caused the South African runner to fall,” said the IAAF… Last year, South Africa won the silver medal at the World Championships although Oscar Pistorius only ran in the prelims. Friday the “Blade Runner” will have his shot at an Olympic final…

— Tarmohgeddon strikes again: On her twitter account, Jeneba Tarmoh eluded to her not running on the 4×100 relay…

“USATF boy. Never been this upset in my life. Time for a change.”

Then,

“Got third at trials and still gotta deal with politics. smh…”

Then,

“Wow…life isn’t fair. My time will come”

Well, apparently Tarmoh worked things out with the USATF (she deleted the tweet), because she was on the 4×100 relay for prelims on Thursday… In fact, what was apparently the USA “B” nearly broke the Olympic record! Tianna Madison, Tarmoh, Biana Knight and Lauryn Williams ran 41.64, while the Olympic record still stands at 41.60, set in 1980… Regardless of whether or not Tarmoh runs in the final, she is entitled to whatever medal the US gets… Odds are she will run in the final, but who knows…

— Fastest half-mile in history: There were two world records set in the 800m Thursday. Not only did David Rudisha break his own world record and run 1:40.91, but silver medalist Nijel Amos set the world junior record. The Botswanan ran 1:41.73 to improve more than two seconds from his World Junior Championships winning time last month. The 18-year old now ranks fourth all-time in the 800m run… Ethiopian Mohammed Aman set a national record in 1:43.20, and all but 1 of the eight finalists ran the fastest times of their lives… Duane Soloman (1:42.80) finished fourth and Nick Symmonds (1:42.95) fifth and now rank Nos. 2 & 3 all-time on the American list, just behind Johnny Gray’s 1985 AR of 1:42.60…

— Ashton Eaton doesn’t get Olympic record: Yes, Ashton Eaton won the gold medal and yes it doesn’t look like anyone is close to him right now, but his 1,500m gave up his chance of breaking Roman Sebrle’s Olympic record… Eaton ran 4:33, and he needed to break 4:30. His PR was at the Olympic Trials when he ran 4:14, and his best time before that was 4:18…

It’s not as big of a surprise as you would think… The decathlon at the Olympics is made for the fans. Usually there is 30 minutes between events, but at the Olympics, there are sometimes hours between events. Instead of two, 6-7 hour days of competition, it’s closer to two 12-hour days… In the 1,500m Eaton looked absolutely exhausted and that drive and determination that was in his eyes during the 1500 at the Trials wasn’t there… And that’s ok… It’s the champions prerogative how he wants to run the final event… Four years ago, Eaton was still learning all of the decathlon events… If his progression is anywhere close to that, look out Rio…

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