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Saturday, August 11, 2012

KU’s Diamond Dixon wins gold medal at Olympic Games as part of 4 x 400 relay team

Foursome of Felix, Richards-Ross, Trotter, McCorory prevail on Saturday; Jayhawk ran in semis Friday

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Kansas University sprinter Diamond Dixon is bringing home a gold medal from the 2012 London Olympic Games as a member of the victorious United States 4 x 400 relay team.

The Jayhawk junior from Houston did not run in Saturday's finals, a race in which the U.S. team of Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, DeeDee Trotter and Francena McCorory won in 3 minutes, 16.87 seconds.

She ran in Friday's semifinals, however, qualifying her for any medal the U.S. won in the event.

Felix won her third gold medal of the London Olympics, giving the United States a 20-meter lead after the second leg of the 4x400 and then watched teammate Richards-Ross bring home the victory.

Russia finished second in 3:20.23 and Jamaica was third in 3:20.95.

Trotter ran the opening leg for the United States and built a lead before handing to Felix, who more than doubled the advantage by the time she passed to Francena McCorory. Richards-Ross had a stress-free anchor leg to add this gold medal to her 400-meter gold. Felix earlier won the 200 and 4x100 relay.

Dixon, 20, ran the third leg of the semifinal, with Keshia Baker, McCorory and Trotter.

Unofficial split times had Dixon running the second-fastest of her four teammates at a blazing 50.15, with only Trotter clocking in faster at 50.12.

Dixon earned a spot on the relay after finishing fifth in the 400 meters at the U.S. Team Trials in Eugene, Ore., in late June with a personal best and school record time of 50.88.

Comments

Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 11 months ago

So happy for her!

I thought it was pretty cool when they gave her and KU a shout-out during the semi-finals last night. Kansas track showing off it's rich history at the olympics, once again!

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 11 months ago

That's HOF material, yes?

Congrats Diamond!

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Clint Church 1 year, 11 months ago

Why are they allowed to change runners before the final?

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Saguaro_Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Each country has a pool of 6 runners to compete in prelims thru finals. It's the coach's discretion which 6 to use and when to use them.

Keshia Baker from U of Oregon was the other USA teammate who did not run in the finals.

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oldalum 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't know, but they've always done it. Maybe it depends on the schedules of the other runners who are entered in other events.

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 11 months ago

To also compensate for injuries, like the guy in the 4x400 that ran the last half of his 400 with a broken leg.

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omari1911 1 year, 11 months ago

To rest the runners with more events.

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jayhawkinATL 1 year, 11 months ago

Just a bummer the coaches didn't reward her with a spot in the final.

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John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

I think you can be sure the coach (not a Jayhawk) put his best four on the track for the final. Experience on the international scene and baton handling could also have been critical if the final had been more competitive. I don't blame him for sitting a 20 year old when he has older, faster runners available. There was no guarantee in advance that neither Russia nor Jamaica would have a good day. The great thing about Diamond's age is that we have three more seasons to cheer her on toward 2016. Trust me, by then there won't be four faster quarter milers in the USA.

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 11 months ago

Big Congrats to Diamond Dixon on her Gold Medal. She has already sealed her legacy as one of the greatest track & field athletes in KU history. If you haven't seen Diamond's qualifying run you can watch it here:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/track-and-field/highlights-u-s-women-advance-to-4x400m-final.html

As you will see, Dixon absolutely flew on the 3rd leg. She was actually the one who put the U.S. in the lead, passing the Russian sprinter in the last 100 meters, and ran the second fastest split (50.15).

This is a very big deal, and it deserves far more attention that it's getting from kusports.com. To put this accomplishment into perspective, she is KU's first track and field gold medalist since Al Oerter won the discus in the 1968 Mexico City Games.In addition, Diamond is only the 8th KU track & field Olympic Gold medalist of all time, and she is the school's first female gold-medal winner.

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JHawk06 1 year, 11 months ago

Great job, Way to represent the USA and KU!

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juke4jay 1 year, 11 months ago

I have same view as a few of the other posters - I am happy for Diamond and it was exciting to see her (Jayhawk) running for victory in the semi's..... But it was a real let down to see the finals without her on the track. She wasn't injured, so presumably the coaches thought others were faster for the final. This is part of the Olympics that I do not care for.....

Congratulations Diamond, you earnend your medal (and should have ran in the final). RCJH

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John Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

It really is such a shame, juke4jay, that the Olympics aren't set up solely for your parochial preferences!

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bville_hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

So proud of Diamond to have won gold. She has such a big heart and is such an intense competitor. You couldn't ask for a better representative of the University of Kansas and the U.S.A.

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