Sprinter Breaks Leg During Race but Makes Sure USA Qualifies for 4x400 Relay
Corey Dean Hall
I couldn’t make a 45-second split without a broken leg. On a bike. With an engine.
Move over, Kerri Strug. America has a new Olympian performing heroically on a broken leg.
Runner Manteo Mitchell said he “felt” and “heard” his fibula breaking midway through his lead-off leg of the 4×400-meter relay Thursday morning in qualifying heats. He kept running, going another 200 meters and handing off the baton to Josh Mance. The U.S. went on to finish second in the heat, advancing to the final Friday night.
America would not have kept its medal hopes alive in the event without the effort of Mitchell. His injury was diagnosed after the race by team doctor Bob Adams: broken left fibula.
“I knew if I finished strong we could still get it [the baton] around,” Mitchell said. “I saw Josh Mance motioning me in for me to hand it off to him, which lifted me. I didn’t want to let those three guys down, or the team down, so I just ran on it. It hurt so bad. I’m pretty amazed that I still split 45 seconds on a broken leg.”