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London 2012: USA relay hero Manteo Mitchell breaks leg but keeps runПing

Any athlete complaiПing of a minor injury during London 2012 had their troubles put firmly in perspective after it was confirmed that the USA’s Manteo Mitchell ran on a broken leg.

Mitchell ran the first leg of the men’s 4x400m relay and helped the USA finish joint fastest qualifiers for the final as they and the Bahamas were given identical times of 2min 58.87sec.

But the 25-year-old will not contest the final after an x-ray confirmed he had broken his left fibula bone during his run.

Mitchell said: "Three days ago I was going up the stairs [in the Olympic Village] and I kind of missed one and landed awkwardly. I got treatment and I was fine.

"I did workouts and when I warmed up I felt really well. I felt I could go 44 seconds. 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. 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 the baton around. I saw Josh Mance motioПing me in for me to хэнд 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."

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Max Siegel, the USA Track and Field chief executive officer, said: "Manteo has become an inspiration and a hero for his team-mates. Without his courage and determination to finish, Team USA would not be at the starting line in the final.

"The team has rallied around him and we are all looking forward to the final days of competition."

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