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U.S. runner Manteo Mitchell finishes relay on broken leg


Manteo Mitchell, who ran the first leg of the 1,600-meter relay in 46.1 seconds, discovered after the race that he has a broken fibula. The U.S. tied the Bahamas for the fastest qualifying time.

August 09, 2012|Staff Reports
  • Relay runners Manteo Mitchell of the U.S. and Gustavo Cuesta of the Dominican Republic are side by side during their heat on Thursday in London.
Relay runners Manteo Mitchell of the U.S. and Gustavo Cuesta of the Dominican… (Leng Fi / Getty Images )

LONDON -- If there were an Olympic award for courage in competition, Manteo Mitchell would get a strong nomination.

Mitchell ran the opening leg of the U.S. men's 1,600-meter relay Thursday and seemed to labor, unable to hand over the lead to Josh Mance after a leg of 46.1 seconds.

Afterward, Mitchell said he had a cramp in his foot. But his struggles didn't seem to matter because Mance, Tony McQuay and Bryshon Nellum rallied to get the U.S. to the finish line in 2 minutes 58.87 seconds, tying the Bahamas for the fastest qualifying time. The time was a record for the first round of an Olympics relay.

PHOTOS: 2012 London Olympics | Day 13

Later, though, Mitchell returned to the Olympic Village and had a doctor examine his leg. X-rays showed he had a broken fibula.

"Three days ago I was going up the stairs and I kind of missed one and landed awkwardly," Mitchell said in a statement released by USA Track and Field. "I got treatment and I was fine. I did workouts, and when I warmed up today I felt really well.

"I got out pretty slow, but I picked it up and when I got to the 100-meter mark it felt weird. … 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."

The 1,600-meter relay final is Friday. The U.S., which had already lost LaShawn Merritt to a leg injury during the 400-meter heats and, more recently, Jeremy Wariner to a torn hamstring, will announce its lineup Friday.

— Helene Elliott

Another Oscar moment

South Africa'sOscar Pistorius, who made history last week in the 400 by becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics, said on his Twitter account that he will run the third leg of the 1,600-meter relay final.

South Africa, which didn't finish its opening round in the relay Thursday after a collision involving Ofentse Mogawane and a Kenyan runner, won a reprieve after it appealed the result. A jury of appeal ruled that the Kenyan was at fault for the incident that caused Mogawane to fall during the second leg.

Pistorius tweeted the news: "IT'S ON!! We in the FINAL."

— Helene Elliott and Lisa Dillman

Coming home

The gold-medal-winning U.S. women's soccer team will meet Australia in an international friendly Sept. 16 at the Home Depot Center.

That match will be the second of as many as 10 games the team will play on a post-Olympic tour, which will begin Sept. 1 in Rochester, N.Y., home of national team star Abby Wambach, with the U.S. playing Costa Rica.

The Home Depot game will be a homecoming of sorts for Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest) and Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach).

— Kevin Baxter

High sticking

In one of the more frightening-looking accidents at the Olympics, New Zealand field hockey player Katie Glynn fell to the turf, head bloodied, after getting hit hard by the stick of an opponent from the Netherlands.

In true hockey tradition, she returned to action with her wound stitched, stapled and covered with a heavy wrap. Glynn later joked on her own Twitter account that she looked like a "conehead."

Glynn also posted a picture of the wound and the staples and wrote: "Little bit of a headache! Looking forward to taking the bronze though. Thanks for all the awesome support."

New Zealand plays Great Britain for the bronze medal Saturday.

— Lisa Dillman

Yao! Who's that?

These London Games may have set an Olympic record for paparazzi thanks in part to the presence of David Beckham and members of the royal family, who have been seen so many places there is speculation they either have body doubles or haven't slept in two weeks.

But there was a surprise celebrity sighting Thursday, far from any competitive venue, when former NBA star Yao Ming walked out of the British Museum.

Ming, wearing a yellow polo shirt and blue jeans, seemed to go unnoticed among the crowd of international visitors.

Just another 7-foot-6 Chinese guy with a crew cut.

— Kevin Baxter

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