US Relay Runner breaks leg, finishes relay leg
The curse of men's 4x400m team
By: Matthew Kitchen, NBC OlympicsUPDATED: Aug 9, 2:37p ET
Athletes compete in the men's 4x400m relay round 1 heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
And the hits just keep on coming.
An already depleted American 4x400m team took another hit Thursday afternoon when Manteo Mitchell allegedly broke his leg with 200 meters left during his turn around the track.
"I got out pretty slow, but I picked it up and when I got to the 100-meter mark it felt weird," Mitchell told USA Track and Field. "I was thinking I just didnít 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 couldnít hear it. I wanted to just lie down. It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half."
Mitchell, who doctors determined broke his left fibula, says he was spurred on by teammate Joshua Mance waving him in to the line.
"I didnít want to let those three guys down," he added, "so I just ran on it. It hurt so bad. Iím pretty amazed that I still split 45 seconds on a broken leg."
The men finished second in their heat in 2:58.87, runner up to the Bahamas, and qualified for Friday night's final. Not counting the boycotted 1980 Games the U.S. men have won gold in the 4x400m event in every Olympics since 1976.
Manteo joins a pretty talented injured list that includes two 400m Olympic gold medalists, Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt, who both went down with hamstring injuries since arriving in London.