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USA takes gold in men’s 4x400 relay

Athletics - Olympics: Day 15

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: Lashawn Merritt of the United States reacts after winning gold in the Men’s 4 x 400 meter Relay on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

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After missing out on a gold medal in surprising fashion four years ago, the U.S. men’s 4x400 team reclaimed the top spot Saturday night.

Arman Hall, Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts and LaShawn Merritt were in control for most of the race, with the exception of a stumble by Roberts during the final straightaway on the third leg. Roberts maintained his balance however, and once he got the baton to Merritt the Americans were back on track. The U.S., which finished in 2:57.30, has won three of the last four men’s 4x400 relay Olympic gold medals.

Taking silver was Jamaica with a time of 2:58.16, and Bahamas stormed past Botswana to take bronze in 2:58.49. Botswana appeared headed to a bronze medal finish, but anchor Gaone Maotoanong ran out of gas down the stretch and was ultimately passed by the Bahamas and Belgium to finish in fifth. Six teams finished the race in less than three minutes, a first for the Olympic final, with Belgium and Botswana both establishing new national records.

Brazil, which landed in the final after three teams were disqualified following the qualifying heats, finished eights.

The Bahamas took gold in this event in London four years ago.