LONDON – Eyeing the trackside clock as she approached the finish, Carmelita Jeter pointed the black baton in her left hand at those orange numbers.

She wanted to make sure everyone saw what she saw: The United States was breaking the world record in the women’s 400-meter relay, and it wasn’t even close.

Allyson Felix, Tianna Madison and Bianca Knight built a big lead, and Jeter brought it home Friday night, anchoring the U.S. to its first Olympic gold medal in the sprint relay since 1996 with a time of 40.82, more than a half-second better than a record that stood for 27 years.

“As I’m running I’m looking at the clock and seeing this time that’s like 37, 38, 39. In my heart, I said, ‘We did it!’ I definitely knew we ran well,” Jeter said. “When I crossed the finish line, I had so many emotions because we haven’t been able to get the gold medal back to the U.S.”

Felix collected her second gold of the London Games, with the one she won in the 200 meters. Jeter completed a set, adding to her silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200.

“I just knew if we had clean baton passes that we would definitely challenge the world record. Smash it like we did? We had no idea,” Madison said, “but I knew it was in us.”

The Americans erased the record of 41.37 run by East Germany in October 1985. Here’s how long ago that was: Jeter was 5, Madison was a month old, and Felix and Knight weren’t even born.

“It’s an absolutely unreal feeling. It just feels like for so long, we looked at women’s sprints and the records were so out of reach. To look up and see we had a world record, it was just crazy,” said Felix, who gets a shot at a third gold in the 1,600 relay final Saturday. “I didn’t think that was going to happen.”

MEN’S 1,600 RELAY: The American team was in control until Ramon Miller of the Bahamas chased down Angelo Taylor on the anchor leg to grab his country’s first gold in a race won by the U.S. in every Olympics since 1984.

The South African team, anchored by double-amputee “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, fell behind well before Pistorius received the baton and was eighth.

WRESTLING: Jordan Burroughs beat Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi 1-0, 1-0 in the men’s 74-kilogram freestyle division to give the U.S. its first wrestling gold in London.

“A lot of people call it cocky, people call it over-confident,” said Burroughs, “But I knew I was going to win.”

Burroughs has won 38 straight international freestyle matches.

SWIMMING: Ous Mellouli of Tunisia won the grueling 10-kilometer race to become the first swimmer to win medals in the pool and open water at the same Olympics.

TAEKWONDO: Hwang Kyung-seon of South Korea defended her title in the women’s 67-kilogram division, and Sebastian Crismanich of Argentina won the gold medal in the men’s 80-kg category.

SAILING: Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, and New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie won the 470 class gold medals by overwhelming their British rivals.

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: Russia grabbed the team gold medal for its fourth consecutive team victory and sixth straight overall gold.

CANOE SPRINT: Ed McKeever of Britain clocked the quickest time over the heats and semifinals as the 200-meter canoe sprint made its Olympic debut.

WOMEN’S FIELD HOCKEY: The Netherlands retained the title with a 2-0 win over world champion Argentina.

Britain won the bronze by defeating New Zealand 3-1 to secure the country’s first field hockey medal in 20 years.

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva finished on top of qualifying, putting her in position to defend her Olympic title.

MEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Brazil and Russia advanced to Sunday’s final.

MEN’S HANDBALL: Defending champion France will take on Sweden in the final Sunday.

The French advanced with a 25-22 victory against Croatia and Sweden edged Hungary, 27-26.