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London Day Fourteen: Forgetting East Germany

Another memory of one of the darkest eras of athletics history - the East German sports "program" - was erased on Friday night. Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter won the women's 4x100 relay for the USA in 40.82 seconds, eclipsing, and emphatically, the time of 41.37 which had been the world record since October 1985, set by Silke Gladisch, Sabine Rieger, Ingrid Auerswald and Marlies Göhr in the 1985 IAAF World Cup at Bruce Stadium, Canberra. (Watch the video of that 1985 race here.) Reports on the race from the San Diego Union-Tribune with the local angle on the silver medallists by the Jamaica Gleaner.

Bahamas picked up their first medal of the 2012 Games winning the men's 4x400 relay over the USA and Trinidad & Tobago, but the real story here is of South Africa who finished last in the final - eighth in fact in a field of nine (with Cuba not finishing). Oscar Pistorius ran the anchor leg in a result the South African Press Association has unfairly reported as <"a href="">disappointing. The fact is that South Africa were only added as the ninth finalist after winning their appeal over interference in their heat - an amazing race in which it looked like Pistorius' would miss out on running the relay at all.

The 4x400 final sae USA missing gold in the event for the first time since the Moscow 1980 boycott, but after Marketo Mitchell's amazing injury during the heat, they too were lucky to be competing in the race. ESPN's Jim Caple takes up their story.

Renaud Lavillenie won the men's pole vault with a mark of 5.97 metres. Local hope Steve Lewis finished fifth, but defending gold medallist Aussie Steve Hooker failed to clear the bar in the final at all.

In the water, Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli completed an unprecedented double: his victory in the 10km open-water swim in the Serpentine followed his bronze in the pool in the 1500 metres freestyle last week, an event where he also won gold at Beijing. At Weymouth, Australia claimed its third sailing gold medal via Malcolm Page and Mathew Belcher in the 470 class.

Meanwhile, away from the Olympics: Women's baseball. It probably has no hope of ever appearing in the Olympics now with the joint bid for men's baseball and women's softball expected to fail in 2020. The Women's Baseball World Cup began in Edmonton on Friday. You can follow the eight-team tournament here, with live Youtube coverage of Japan's games here. As I've said before, I miss baseball at the London Olympics. I don't expect to see them readmitted when the sports for the 2020 Games are finalised next year.

Finally, congratulations to both Olympic BMX champions, finalised on Friday: Mariana Pajon was Colombia's second gold medallist of all time in the women's event, while Latvia's Maris Strombergs in the men's. Here's a double Youtube do Dia for today - a profile on Mariana Pajon, followed by a race from the 2011 World Championships in which Strombergs was runner-up: