There was little doubt that the girls’ US Medley Relay team would miss out on the gold medal on the final day of competition at the IAAF World Youth Championships here in Donetsk.
There were even fewer question marks when the line-up was announced.
With a team which included 100m Hurdles silver medallist Dior Hall running the 100m leg, 100m champion Ky Westbrook on the 200m leg, 800m bronze medallist Raevyn Rogers on the 300m leg and 400m silver medallist Olivia Baker on the final 400m leg, team USA was on course to win their sixth Medley Relay title in the history of the competition.
As expected Hall got off to the fastest start and by the time she handed over to Westbrook the US team already held a substantial lead. Having just run the 800m final 35 minutes earlier, Rogers seemed to set off a little slower than expected on the third leg and coming into the final bend Jonel Lacey of the British Virgin Islands, Seika Aoyama of Japan and Liang Xiaojing of China were looming fast on the US athlete.
However Rogers had saved her best for last and handed over to Baker with a good 10-metre lead. It was only a matter of Baker to complete her final race of the championships which she did in style to anchor USA to a world youth-leading 2:05.15.
There was a much closer fight for silver and bronze with Tarika Moses holding off the challenge to claim the British Virgin Islands’ first medal of these championships in 2:07.40.
Nanako Matsumoto of Japan managed to hold on to third ahead of Huang Guifen of China who eventually was disqualified.