Will London anchors the USA to gold in the 4x400m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 (© Getty Images)
The USA won an eighth successive 4x400m relay title after a thrilling homestretch battle with Botswana to drop the curtain on the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016.
The quartet of Champion Allison, Ari Cogdell, Kahmari Montgomery and Will London out-dueled an inspired Botswana squad of Omphemetse Poo, Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Sibanda and Xholani Talane 3:02.39 to 3:02.81, the former the fastest U20 performance of the year and the latter an African U20 record.
Allison gave the US a slim lead on the opening leg, with Japan, Botswana and Germany following. But Thebe, a favourite for the individual 400m who was disqualified in the semifinals, was on fire, running down Cogdell midway through the back straight and recording a stunning 43.5 split.
Powering down the homestretch, Thebe handed off to Sibanda, the 400m bronze medallist, with a two-second lead. Montgomery, who was fifth in the 400m final, made up some ground on Sibanda, but London, the 400m silver medallist, still had some work do on the anchor leg against Talane.
He began noticeably chipping away at the deficit as he entered the back straight, and forging onwards, caught Talane as he then approached the final straight, pumping stride-for-stride. London made his decisive move with about 60 metres to go to cross the line unchallenged. Waving to the crowd, he briefly flexed his arms before reaching up to touch the sky.
Jamaica, powered by Anthony Carpenter, Sean Bailey, Terry Ricardo Thomas and Christoper Taylor, took bronze in 3:04.83.
Further back, Japan finished fourth in 3:07.02, more than a second clear of Germany (3:08.13)
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF