Men 4 x400 metre relay heats
Once again we had the spectacle of a Jamaica vs USA match in the men’s 4x400 m relays.
Unfortunately for the host nation, the USA totally dominated in the first semi-final heat.
With Jamaica drawn in the outside lane and the USA in lane 6, the US first leg, Kenneth Ferguson, had already built up a lead of five metres as he came up to hand over to Darold Williamson, with Jamaica’s Jermaine Myers handing over to Sekou Clarke.
Now Williamson powered away and with a slower exchange from the Jamaicans playing to the American’s advantage, he had built up a lead over a dozen metres by the time he passed the stick to Bershawn Jackson.
Jackson maintained the lead in front of the Jamaican third leg Yhann Plummer and it was a clear run home for Jonathan Fortenberry the American anchor who sewed up the race with a finishing time of 3:03.56, the fastest junior time in the world this year.
Meanwhile, Jermaine Gonzales came home for Jamaica in 3:05.82.
In third place, South Africa ran a national juniuor record of 3:07.65 to qualify as a fastest finisher, with Poland also qualifying in 3:07.65.
Morocco in 7th place in this heat failed to qualify, but set a national junior record with their time of 3:09.56.
The second heat was a totally different scenario, with Japan making the early running, going on to trade the lead with Germany and, briefly with France and then coming back strongly with third leg runner Yuke Yamaguchi gaining back the lead as he powered past Germany’s Christoph Helm to hand over to anchor leg runner Yosuke Inoue with a couple of metres’ lead that Inoue held despite the challenge from the German anchor Kamghe Gaba, who eventually also gave way to the French anchor Brice Panel.
Japan won in 3:07.35, France set a national junior record of 3:07.58 for second place, with Germany (3:08.06) and Australia (3:08.22) going through to the final as next fastest finishers.