In one of the best performances of the Olympic Games, the U.S. Women’s 4x100 meter relay team beat Jamaica today for a gold in the event at a world record making time.
Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Madison and Bianca Knight won with a record-shattering time of 40.82, .59 of a second faster than the Jamaican team. The perfect handoff between Knight and Jeter at the last leg of the race seemed like vengeance for the bobble that cost the 2008 team a chance at competing in the finals at Beijing.
In what will probably become one of the most iconic images of the sport, Carmelita pointed her baton at the clock as she crossed the finish line .55 of a second sooner than the anchor of the formerly record-holding East German team did in 1985.
The race was expected to be a close one, but the Jamaicans, with gold and bronze 100m medalists making up half of their team, had a slight advantage. The Ukrainian women’s team took the bronze with a time of 42.04.
The win was the first time since 1996 that the U.S. women’s team has earned a gold in the event. Earlier in the Games, Carmelita powered her way to a silver in the 100m dash, and Allyson Felix took gold in the 200m.
In related, more adorable news: Carmelita just had a baby cheetah cub named after her at the National Zoo, which might even be better than that gold medal. The other cub is named after Olympian Justin Gatlin.