Report26 May 2014

Report: women’s 4x800m – Bahamas 2014


USA's Ajee Wilson leads the 4x800m at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau (© Getty Images)

It was a wire-to-wire victory for the USA in the women's 4x800m final, and their 8:01.58 clocking gave them the inaugural event record, a national record, and a symbolic victory over the previously dominant country in middle-distance running.

World indoor champion Chanelle Price gave the USA a lead of more than 10 metres on the first leg, jumping out in front and holding the lead through the exchange to Geena Lara. Price's split was 2:01.00.

Though Australia's Zoe Buckman and Kenya's Sylivia Chesebe closed the gap on Lara on the second leg, it was Mexico which came up to make the second exchange just behind the USA. Cristina Guevara moved up strongly to almost pull even with Lara, who gave the baton to world junior champion Ajee Wilson at 4:03.80.

Wilson was lined up against 2007 world champion Janeth Jepkosgei, but she too was unable to close the gap on the USA, as Wilson split 1:59.10 to hand off to world bronze medallist Brenda Martinez at 6:02.90.

Martinez scorched the first lap of her leg, wanting to give Kenya's Eunice Sum – the gold medallist ahead of Martinez in Moscow – no chance to close in. She reached the bell at 7:00.30, her 57.4 the fastest one-lap split of the day, then held on for the 8:01.58 finish.

Kenya too ran a national record of 8:04.28. Russia, in third, ran 8:08.19. Australia (fourth, 8:13.26), Jamaica (fifth, 8:17.22), France (sixth, 8:17.54) and Mexico (eighth, 8:24.45) all established national records.

Parker Morse for the IAAF

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