Down and Out? Not Even Close
The first few days of Olympic track and field action featured a full schedule of exciting performances. From Bolt’s dominating victory in the men’s 100m dash, to Jessica Ennis’ awe inspiring performance in the heptathlon, to Mo Farah capturing the men’s 10,000m gold, for track and field fans, the first handful of days were a whirlwind of one amazing result after the next.
While Team USA certainly earned a fair share of hardware, the dominating performances many anticipated didn’t arrive. While it was nice seeing Galen Rupp bring home silver and Christian Cantwell earn a bronze (along the other great American performances), after seeing Americans win so many medals in swimming and gymnastics, it seemed as though the U.S. track and field squad was showing signs of weakness.
On Wednesday, all of a sudden, things changed. In one magical hour, the United States captured seven medals, including three gold, all in the sprints, hurdles and jumps, showing the dominance American track and field fans have come to expect. Brittney Reese, despite scratching four jumps, earned a long jump gold, while Allyson Felix and Aries Merritt showed why they are the best in the world, taking home the other two gold medals. One hour, seven medals and the United States overtook China for the overall medal count. Whew!
To top it off, decathletes Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee looked strong on day one of the event, finishing 1-2 and clearly showing their medal winning potential.
The arrow is now firmly pointed up for Team USA. With a few surprise medals, the goal of 30 medals set by former USATF CEO Doug Logan, doesn’t seem so out of reach. The American squad is back to its winning ways, showing once again why the U.S. is viewed as having the world’s best track and field team.