The women were first up on the track. Mary Wineberg (Cincinnati, Ohio) clocked 51.0 for her opening leg, positioning the U.S. just behind Russia, along with Jamaica and Great Britain. At the stagger break, Jamaica was in the lead, followed by Allyson Felix (Los Angeles) running for the USA, and Russia. The 200m silver medalist, Felix moved into the lead around the curve and handed off to 2004 Olympic relay gold medalist Monique Henderson, having clocked a blistering leg of 48.55. Henderson (Chula Vista, Calif.) turned in a 50.06 split but was passed by Russia with 20 meters left in her leg.
When Richards took the baton, she trailed Russia by approximately three meters. Biding her time, she waited until the final straight to move into first, turning in a 48.93 leg and crossing the line in 3:18.54, the fastest time in the world since 1993. Russia was second in 3:18.82 and Jamaica third in 3:20.40.
Women's 4x400m final
Mary Wineberg (Cincinnati, Ohio): "I felt really good. Our goal was to come together as a team, and for me to run the first leg, get our team out there and pass the baton to Allyson. We're happy, we're excited and we're gold medalists. I wasn't nervous at all because I knew Sanya would run a really strong leg for us. She passed the Russian and she kept her composure."
Monique Henderson (Chula Vista, Calif.): "It's an amazing feeling to win a gold medal. It was really touch-and-go there for a while. Thankfully, Sanya ran a great anchor leg and brought us back to win the gold."
"Allyson gave me a great lead and I was out there to hold it. I held them off the best I could, but unfortunately the Russian girl went by me at the end. It was great to see us be able to come back and pull out the win."
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.): "We wanted it to end on a high note. We've had our ups and downs. We came out with a new attitude tonight - men and women - and it worked out. We had confidence in Sanya."