Christine Amertil of Team Americas holds off Team Europe to secure victory in the 4x400m relay in Split ( © Copyright

EVENT Report - Women's 4x400 Metres Relay

The best relay races come down to the wire and this one, a dramatic 4x400m Relay victory by Team Americas over Team Europe, will be remembered as one of the finest of the 2010 IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup.

Jamaican Shericka Williams brought a marginal lead for the Americas to the quartet’s no. 2, world 400m leader Debbie Dunn. The American cushioned it even more before handing over the Nickiesha Wilson, the 400m Hurdles champion, who took over with Africa’s Ndeye Soumah giving chase.

While Wilson maintained the margin for Team Americas, Italy’s Libania Grenot ran a superb third leg for the European squad, reeling in the African to hand the closing duties to anchor Tatyana Firova, the European champion. But she had her work cut out for her.

Bahamian veteran Christine Amertil had a hefty lead over the Russian, but with some 250 metres remaining, Firova was gaining, and gaining fast.

One of the most thrilling homestretch battles of the weekend ensued. Narrowing the gap with every stride, Firova looked the eventual winner but Amertil dug deep into her reserves to maintain the edge and secure the victory for the Americas in 3:26.37. Firova stopped the clock in 3:26:58, with Africa, anchored by African champion Amantle Montsho, third in 3:27.99.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF