The United States of America completed a sweep of all four relay titles here in Barcelona as the men’s 4x400m team of Quincy Downing, Aldrich Bailey, Chidi Okezie and Arman Hall clocked a new World Junior leading time 3:03.99.
Bailey, the 400m co-bronze medallist earlier this week will leave Barcelona with a record tally of three medals as he also took part in yesterday’s 4x100 relay race.
Such has been the Americans’ domination in the event that this was the country’s twelfth and sixth consecutive gold medal in the history of the event, the USA only losing out on the title in 1998 and 2000.
Poland finished in the silver medal position thanks to a 3:05.05 national record and Trinidad & Tobago conquered its first ever medal at the event in 3:06.32 for third.
It was a start-to-finish win for the Americans as Downing had securely handed over in an unofficial split time 45.07 to Bailey (46.74). However, the gap between the Americans and the rest of the field seemed to be shorter than usual, largely thanks to the powerful legs covered by the Polish pair of Karol Zalewski – 4th at the 200 – and Rafal Smolen. Behind Poland, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago fought fiercely for the third place.
The third leg posted by America’s Okezie proved to be decisive as he built a handsome 15-metre margin over Piotr Kusnierz to strengthen his country’s lead.
By the bell, America led Poland in clear second and Jamaica still holding off Trinidad & Tobago’s challenge but the Jamaican anchorman began to struggle entering the home straight and he was passed almost simultaneously by Trinidad & Tobago’s Machel Cedenio – fifth at the individual event - and Australian Steven Solomon, the co-World 400m bronze medallist in Barcelona, who made a tremendous closing leg but not enough to make the podium as the Aussie team had to be satisfied with fourth (3:06.58) ahead of Jamaica (3:07.31).