After the US team’s performance in yesterday’s heats, no one would have predicted that any team would be close to the Americans.
No one except four Jamaicans, that is.
The US team did not sail into the quick, comfortable lead it may have expected or wanted. At the halfway point of the relay, the Americans’ advantage was less than five metres.
Michael Blackwood, last season’s top-ranked 400 runner, might have pulled the Jamaicans even closer, but Milton Campbell produced the fastest contribution for the US with his first leg timing (unofficial) of 45.10, which opened up a lead of about ten metres with the final stage remaining.
It was now the fresh legs of Jamaica’s Davian Clarke against the possibly fatigued ones of new World Champion Tyree Washington.
As the pair ran down the final backstretch, Clarke seemed ready to make a move. But just as he did in winning his gold medal earlier in the afternoon, Washington found the extra energy needed to hold on to the win, as the American’s time of 3:04.09 was the sixth-fastest clocking ever, all of them coming in World Indoor Championship competition.
Jamaica lowered its national record by almost a full second with 3:04.21 to take the silver medal, while the British team was outdueling the Polish quartet, 3:06.12 to 3:06.61, for the bronze.
In early 2009, World Athletics received official notification from USA Track & Field that their leg 2 man Jerome Young had admitted to doping violations from 1999 to 2003. His results in 1999-2001 and from 2004 had already been annulled after earlier revelations. This latest news meant that his results in 2002 and 2003 were also cancelled. So the golds went to Jamaica, Britain and Poland – the only three teams entered not to be disqualified.