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Men's 4x100m relay final

Men’s 4x100m relay final
Steven Downes for the IAAF

22 October 2000 – After a 30-minute delay, the men’s 4x100 metres final eventually got under way. It was well worth waiting for.

Mark Lewis-Francis, the young Briton who won the 100 metres gold medal on Wednesday, used all his abundant speed to power through, past France’s Leslie Djhone, overcoming a four-metre lead to win the gold in a championship record 39.05sec – and the second fastest time ever run by a junior team.

France (39.33), Japan (39.47) and Trinidad and Tobago (40.03) all established national records as they finished behind the British quartet of Tyrone Edgar, Dwayne Grant and 200m bronze medallist Tim Benjamin.

In truth, the British baton changes were not as smooth as they might have been.

The teams had all had to endure a nerve-wracking 30-mniute delay out on the track at the Estadio Nacional, while a French protest over their initial disqualification from the heats was resolved, and the lanes for the final re-drawn.

Perhaps, without such added tension, the championships might have enjoyed their first world junior record. Certainly, the British performance in the heats pointed to better to come.

The first of the heats had seen five national junior records broken – by runners-up Japan (39.48), Hungary (40.31), Chile (41.19) and Israel (41.41) – as the British quartet had scorched to the third fastest time ever run by juniors, 39.14sec.

Seemingly, they could be within reach of the 39.00sec world record, set at altitude in 1983 by an American squad anchored by Dennis Mitchell.

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