Doha: The United States stormed to victory in the women’s 4x400 metres relay at the world championships on Sunday after leading from the start to clock the best time this year.
U.S. Olympic champion relay runner Phyllis Francis opened a comfortable lead before passing the baton to Sydney McLaughlin, silver medallist in the 400m hurdles at the worlds in Doha.
The USA lead was retained by 400m hurdles world champion and world record holder Dalilah Muhammad, allowing Wadeline Jonathas to close out the race in 3 minutes 18:92 seconds.
McLaughlin and Muhammad only found out on Sunday morning that they would be competing in the relay, highlighting the depth of the U.S. team.
“It’s never definite for Team USA. There are a lot of great girls who can run,” McLaughlin said after the race.
“It’s really exciting especially with (the) Tokyo (Olympics) next year that anybody can do this relay.”
Poland finished almost three seconds behind the United States, winning silver in a national record time of 3:21.89.
Jamaica finished third but were at first disqualified for lining up incorrectly in the second changeover, with their medal reallocated to fourth-place finishers Britain.
However, the Jamaicans were reinstated shortly after when it was ruled they had not gained an advantage from the violation.
The medal spot was returned to Jamaica, who ran a season’s best time of 3:22.37, after a British appeal was rejected.
The United States comfortably won the men’s 4x400 metres relay gold at the world championships on Sunday, reasserting their authority in the event and ensuring they finished top of the medals table.
Rai Benjamin, silver medallist in the 400m hurdles, completed the win as he held off Jamaica’s Demish Gaye around the final leg as the U.S won in 2:56.69 in the very last event of the championship.
Jamaica were second and Belgium, with brothers Dylan and Kevin Borlee running the closing legs, took bronze.
The USA topped the medals table at the 10-day event with 14 golds followed by Kenya on five and Jamaica and China with three apiece.
The U.S. had won six successive world titles until Trinidad & Tobago claimed the gold in London two years ago.
Michael Cherry put the U.S in control when he broke away from Nathan Allan on the second leg. Terry Thomas ran a brilliant third leg for Jamaica and managed to close the gap but Benjamin charged on the last leg to secure the U.S. win.
“A lot of times we have not finished the job so tonight we were ready to face up to it collectively,” said Wilbert London, who ran the first leg for the United States.
Britain failed to finish after fumbling the baton at the second exchange.
There was a mix-up between Toby Harries and Rabah Yousif and Harries crashed onto the track, still clutching the baton.
“I just lost the lift and I didn’t place it directly in his hand. It’s my fault and I went down,” he said.
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Updated Date: Oct 07, 2019 09:57:24 IST