updated 8/23/2008 8:57:36 AM ET 2008-08-23T12:57:36

Sanya Richards has anchored the United States to a gold medal in the women’s 4x400-meter relay.

Saturday’s win ends a streak of relay woes for the Americans in Beijing.

When Richards took the baton for the final leg, the U.S. was trailing Russia. But she closed the gap, catching Anastasia Kapachinskaya to secure the gold medal in 3 minutes, 18.55 seconds.

Russia took silver in 3:18.82; Jamaica was third in 3:20.40.

The other U.S. runners were Mary Wineberg, Allyson Felix and Monique Henderson.

Jeremy Wariner ran the anchor leg as the U.S. men won the men’s 1,600-meter relay in an Olympic record time.

LaShawn Merritt, the 400-meter champion, 400-meter hurdles gold medalist Angelo Taylor, David Neville and Wariner finished in 2 minutes, 55.39 seconds in Saturday’s final, giving the United States gold medals in both the men’s and women’s 1,600 relays.

Bahamas took silver at 2:58.03, edging bronze medalist Russia in 2:58.06.

It was the seventh consecutive Olympics the Americans have crossed the line first in this event, although the Sydney 2000 championship team was stripped of the gold medal for a doping violation.

The relay medals were important for the U.S. after both the men’s and women’s 400-meter relay teams were eliminated in the heats.

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