As expected the USA 4x100m relay quartet of Chryste Gaines, Marion Jones, Inger Miller and Gail Devers won the gold medal. They did so by more than half a second in a time of 41.47, a new national and world championship record.
Jamaica, in lane three, just inside the Americans, took the silver, thanks largely to a superb run by Juliet Cuthbert on the third leg. France were the surprise medallists in third place, setting a new national record of 42.21.
In stark contrast to the USA men’s quartet, the women’s team displayed smooth hand-offs at every exchange. The individual 100m gold medallist, Marion Jones, capitalising on Gaines’ excellent start, powered down the back straight to create an unassailable lead which Inger Miller maintained around the bend before handing to the Olympic 100m champion Gail Devers for the final stretch.
Jamaica were in fourth or fifth place by the second exchange but Cuthbert ran an excellent turn to overtake France and the Bahamas, who messed up their final changeover. Beverley Grant brought the Jamaicans home in second place and France edged out Germany for bronze.