American runner Manteo Mitchell, who attended Crest High School near Shelby before competing at Western Carolina University, ran the last 200 meters of the opening lap of the Olympic 4x400-meter relay preliminaries Thursday with a broken leg.
Mitchell told The Associated Press he had about half a lap to go when he heard and felt a pop in his left leg.
He finished the lap in 46.1 seconds, a relatively slow time that angered some U.S. fans who weren't aware that he was hurt, and helped the Americans to a tie for first with the Bahamas in 2 minutes, 58.87 seconds. A few hours later, doctors told him he had a broken left fibula.
The relay final is set for Friday. The Americans have won the last eight long relays they've entered at the Olympics.
Mitchell says "I figured it's what almost any person would've done in that situation."
According to USA Today, here's the account Mitchell gave to USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer:
"Three days ago I was going up the stairs, and I kind of missed one and landed awkwardly. 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. I saw (teammate) 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."
As a prep senior at Crest in 2005, Mitchell finished fifth in the 200 meters at the 3-A state meet and was on a first-place 4x200 team.
More on Mr. Owens may be found in my archives on www.wilmott.com:
LONDON – U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas made history Thursday, winning the most coveted color of all, Olympic gold. Douglas, 16, became the first African-American, the first woman of color, to win the women's all-around title.
In the past, Douglas has been undone by her nerves. Last year at the Visa Championships, Douglas imploded finishing seventh in the all-round. She said that experience helped steeled her for high-stake competitions ahead. "I think I've improved so much with the mental situation," Douglas said before London
"I learned about being a competitor," Douglas said. "No one is going to feel sorry for you. No one is going to be like, 'Ooh, you fell.' This is going to be my chance to shine. You have to go out there and be fierce."
Known as "The Flying Squirrel," because of her aerodynamics on the uneven bars, she wouldn't mind a new nickname: Olympic champion.
Please read more here.