Germany victorious 4x100m quartet at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017 (© Getty Images)
After producing a confidence-boosting victory in their opening round heat of the 4x100m, the same inspired German quartet rode that improbable momentum all the way into the final where they produced their first IAAF/BTC World Relays title.
Their upset win received a big boost before the first handoff was even made after USA lead runner Tianna Bartoletta slipped coming off the first turn and tumbled hard to the track. (She later confirmed she was not hurt.) But that bit of misfortune on the part of the USA doesn't diminish the strong performance that Alexandra Burghardt, Lisa Mayer, Tatjana Pinto and Rebekka Haase chiseled together en route to Germany's most significant relay performance in recent memory.
As she did in the heat two-and-a-half hours earlier, Haase fought off the Jamaican anchor – this time Sashalee Forbes – to secure the win in 42.84.
"We just came out and did our best," said Burghardt, twice a European under-23 champion in the 4x100m. "We were just hoping to get a medal, but we got gold. We made history."
Certainly IAAF World Relays history, collecting not only their first victory at this event, but, coupled with their runner-up finish in yesterday's 4x200m – Pinto and Haase were on that squad as well – doubling their overall World Relays medal haul.
Jamaica, the winners in 2015, were second in 42.95 with China, who clocked 43.11, third, to equal the finish of their men's quartet.
Further back, Netherlands (43.17), France (43.90) and The Bahamas (44.01) finished fourth, fifth and sixth to secure their automatic qualification to August's IAAF World Championships London 2017.
With Brazil and the USA not finishing, Ecuador, winner of the B final in 44.26, also earned automatic entry to the World Championships.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF