The final iteration of the US 2012 Olympic 4x400m men's relay team, comprised of Bryshon Nellum, Josh Mance, Tony McQuay and Angelo Taylor, probably had an inkling that the young squad from the Bahamas was good after the teams posted identical qualifying--and record-setting--times on August 9. Still, they entered as the favorites, intent on recapturing gold in the event that Americans have dominated for more than two decades. But it wasn't meant to be.
The Bahamas held a small lead throughout the first lap, trailed by Cuba. Nellum handed over the baton to Mance to end the first lap in fourth place. Mance quickly moved into second place, and remained there until lap three, when he handed the reins to McQuay, who surged forward and claimed the lead, which he held until giving way to anchor leg runner Taylor. Taylor and the Bahamas' Ramon Miller pulled away from the pack. Though he held the lead through most of the lap, Taylor finally gave way to Miller in the last 75m and crossed the finish line to claim a disappointing silver medal. Team South Africa's inspirational Oscar Pistorius was last to complete the race.
Despite a less than desirable outcome, any medal at all should be considered a miracle, given Team USA's collective 4x100m pool's fortune. Earlier in the Games, LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner were both afflicted with hamstring injuries. Most recently, Manteo Miller was felled by a broken leg just before completing his leg during the August 9 race qualifier.