200m win caps a golden night for Felix
Allyson Felix finally won an individual Olympic gold medal, gliding home with her seemingly effortless stride to take the 200-meters title and break Veronica Campbell-Brown's stranglehold on the event.
Aries Merritt added to the perfect sprint night for the United States, dominating the 110-meter hurdles final ahead of compatriot Jason Richardson. Behind them, Cuba's Dayron Robles, the 2008 champion, was smashing a hurdle in frustration after he pulled up lame with a right hamstring injury halfway through the race. In the heats, China's Liu Xiang, the 2004 champion, also pulled out injured.
And making for a golden half-hour for the United States, Brittney Reese added the long jump title soon afterward to complete a triple for the Americans.All of a sudden, the United States shot to the top of the gold medal standings in track and field with five titles, two more than Russia and Britain.
Image: United States' Allyson Felix crosses the finish line to win the women's 200-meters final on Wednesday
Photographs: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
'It's been a long time coming'
Jamaica has two golds, but Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are up together, hoping to get another 1-2 sprint finish after Sunday's 100.
It could have been even better for the US team, but world champion Lashinda Demus lost the 400 hurdles final by .07 seconds to Russia's Natalya Antyukh.
In the biggest final of the night, loaded with gold medalists, Felix was quickest around the curve and, once she had her smooth, elegant stride going, none of the power racers could come close.
"I mean, finally. It's been a long time coming," Felix said, reflecting on two losses to Veronica Campbell-Brown.
"To twice lose to the same person, it's been tough. But it's all paying off."
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica added silver to her 100 gold medal and Carmelita Jeter took bronze.
Image: Silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce hugs gold medalist Allyson Felix after the women's 200m final on Wednesday
Photographs: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
'She's had a very good season and definitely deserves this moment'
Campbell-Brown faded out of contention down the stretch and finished fourth, failing -- just like pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva did the night before -- to become the first woman in track and field to win gold medals in the same individual event at three consecutive Olympics.
"I'm happy for her. I know that she wanted it," Campbell-Brown said of Felix.
Sanya Richards-Ross, who was seeking a 200-400 double, fell back into fifth place but was happy that Felix finally got the Olympic gold medal after two silvers.
"She's had a very good season and definitely deserves this moment," Richards-Ross said.
"She's just like me, she's wanted this for a very long time."
It was a thrilling US victory in the Jamaica-US sprint rivalry. By the looks of it, though, Jamaica should prevail again in the men's 200 on Thursday.
Image: Allyson Felix of the United States celebrates after winning gold in the women's 200m final on Wednesday
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images