A round-up of the action on the second day of the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas
USA completed a hat-trick of Golden Baton wins at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, over the weekend.
Winning five of the nine events over the two-day programme, USA also claimed two silvers and a bronze for a total of 60 points to place 21 points ahead of Jamaica. Australia was third with 24 points, just one point ahead of Poland, while Britain finished 13th with eight points.
There were no medals for GB over the weekend. After the men’s 4x100m team failed to get the baton round on day one, it was the turn of the two 4x400m teams to compete in finals on Sunday, which resulted in the women’s team finishing fourth and the men’s team sixth.
Deprived of Martyn Rooney and Rabah Yousif through minor injuries, the men’s team was the same as in the heat – Matthew Hudson-Smith, Delano Williams, Jarryd Dunn and Theo Campbell. They were never in contention, finishing sixth in 3:05.63 in a race won by USA in 3:02.13 from Botswana in 3:02.28. Jamaica were third in 3:02.86.
It was the race of the evening as David Verburg, Tony McQuay, Kyle Clemons and LaShawn Merritt combined for the winning performance.
The GB runners were timed at Hudson-Smith 45.68, Williams 46.35, Dunn 46.68 and Campbell 47.56.
Hudson-Smith said: “It felt like an OK run, and there’s obviously a lot more to come as we are only in April. I just wanted to get the team into a good position and just try to get us as far forward as possible.”
Campbell, making his senior debut for the British team in Nassau, said: “I have a problem with my back and thought I may not even run today, so I’m grateful to the medics for getting me out there. This was a good experience for me and massive learning curve for me. I definitely know I can run a lot faster than that and hope this is the first of many senior teams.”
USA also won the women’s 4x400m in a time of 3:24.36, with Poland – who won the recent European indoor title – second in 3:28.28. Jamaica (3:28.49) just held off Great Britain (3:28.72) for bronze.
The GB time in the final was over four seconds faster than the previous day’s heat but nearly three seconds slower than their bronze medal-winning time in Rio.
The team members were timed at Emily Diamond 51.55, Laviai Nielsen 51,56, Eilidh Doyle 52.32 and Christine Ohuruogu 53.29.
The plan was for all six athletes in the squad to run over the weekend, some in unfamiliar roles like Diamond on first leg and Doyle on three.
“I really enjoyed moving to leg one,” said Diamond. “I just got into the zone of 400m racing and I actually quite enjoyed it. I just tried to run the best leg I could to set up the girls.
“It was nice having the Australians outside me, because they’ve just come off their season and are in good shape, so I just latched on to her [Morgan Mitchell] and just tried to overtake her to set up Laviai.”
Of her first senior GB outing, Nielsen said: “It felt amazing to be out there. I watched it yesterday from inside the stadium and I just couldn’t wait to get on the track. Emily set out well and I just didn’t want to lose that second place. There was a scrap behind me and I got hit by a baton, so that was a new experience.”
Stephen Maguire, head of sprints at British Athletics, said: “It would have been great for both teams to medal tonight, and the women were very close, but it’s our first run of the season and we’re looking for our teams to peak in London this August, not now.
“After what we have seen tonight and in training all this week, I’m confident both these 4x400m teams will be very strong contenders for a place on the World Championships podium in August.”
In the other finals on the second day of action, a storming run by Olympic bronze medallist, Clayton Murphy, on the final leg helped a USA team which also included Brannon Kidder, Erik Sowinski and Casimir Loxsom to win the 4x800m in 7:13.16, holding off Kenya (7:13.70), with Poland third in 7:18.74.
In the men’s 4x200m, Canada (Gavin Smellie, Brendon Rodney, Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown) clocked 1:19.42 to defeat USA (Noah Lyles, Jarrion Lawson, Isiah Young and Ameer Webb), who finished in 1:19.88. Jamaica took bronze in 1:21.09.
A Bahamas team of Steven Gardiner, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Anthonique Strachan and Michael Mathieu won the mixed 4x400m relay in 3:14.42, with USA second in 3:17.29 and Jamaica third in 3:20.26.
The women’s 4x100m was won by an excellent German team, but the race was marred by a fall by Tianna Bartoletta, running the first leg for USA, so depriving the race of the favorites.
Barloletta was not hurt and shrugged off the incident as “what happens when you are running fast on a wet surface”.
The German team of Alexandra Burghardt, Lisa Mayer, Tatjana Pinto and Rebekka Haase got round in a time of 42.84. Germany had finished fourth in Rio, with three members of that team running in Bahamas.
Jamaica was second in 42.95 – without any of the 2016 Olympic finalists running – and China third in 43.11.
Full results can be found here.