Team USA's 4x400-Meter Relay Victory Earns KU's Dixon Gold Medal

Aug. 11, 2012

Kansas Track & Field Olympic Champions
1932 Jim Bausch – Decathlon
1956 Al Oerter – Discus
1960 Bill Neider – Shot Put
Al Oerter – Discus
1964 Billy Mills – 10,000 Meters
Al Oerter – Discus
1968 Al Oerter – Discus
2012 Diamond Dixon – 4x400m Relay

LONDON – Kansas track and field’s Diamond Dixon became a gold-medal winner Saturday when the U.S. won its fifth-straight Olympic title in the 4×400-meter relay event.

Dixon, who did not run in the final, earned gold because she ran the third leg of the relay’s semifinal heat victory Friday. Dixon becomes the eighth KU track & field Olympic Gold medalist and the school’s first female gold-medal winner. She is KU’s first track and field gold medalist since Al Oerter won the discus in the 1968 Mexico City Games.

On Friday Dixon turned in the second-fastest split (50.15) on her U.S. 4×400 relay team. The group crossed the finish line with a commanding victory in a time of 3:22.09 to advance to Saturday’s final. Coaches then selected 2012 Olympic champions Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross to replace Dixon and fellow semifinal runner Keshia Baker for the final.

In the final the Americans were never tested. The group clocked in with a winning time of 3:16.87, the third-fastest in Olympic history and over three seconds ahead of the silver-medalist Russian team.