US relay runner Mitchell breaks leg in race

US sprinter Manteo Mitchell suffered a broken leg when running for his team in Thursday's Olympic Games 4x400m relay semi-final, but still managed to finish his lap.

The US team finished second to the Bahamas in the heat in identical times of 2:58.87, the fastest time ever run in the first round of the relay at the Olympics.

The 25-year-old Mitchell had slipped on a stairway in the Olympic Village earlier this week, and that misfortune reared its head after just 100 metres of his one-lap run.

"Three days ago I was going up the stairs and I kind of missed one and landed awkwardly," Mitchell said.

"I got treatment and I was fine. I did workouts, and when I warmed up today I felt really well. I felt I could go 44 (seconds)-low.

"I got out pretty slow, but I picked it up and when I got to the 100m mark it felt weird. I was thinking I just didn't feel right. As soon as I took the first step past the 200m mark, I felt it break."

Mitchell added: "I heard it. I even put out a little war cry, but the crowd was so loud you couldn't hear it. I wanted to just lie down. It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half.

"I knew if I finished strong we could still get it (the baton) around. 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."

After the race, Mitchell was taken to the Athlete Village medical area, where his leg was x-rayed and diagnosed by team doctor Bob Adams as a break of his left fibula bone.

Team USA will announce the final line-up for the men's 4x400m final on Friday.

USA's Manteo Mitchell (back 2nd R), Joshua Mance (front 2nd R) Dominican Republic's Gustavo Cuesta and Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez (back R) compete in the men's 4X400m relay heats at the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games in London. Mitchell suffered a broken leg when running for his team in the 4x400m relay semi-final, but still managed to finish his lap.

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