Erika Rucker, Olivia Ekpone, Kendall Baisden and Ashley Spencer celebrate after winning the Women's 400 metres Relay Final on day six of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona on 15 July 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Yet their path to the final was nothing but fuild.
After winning their first round heat yesterday evening, the US were disqualified along with a team of Romania for passing the baton outside the exchange zone. However, following a protest which was accepted by the judges, both teams were offered a re-run of their heat with qualification granted on condition that they would at least match the time of the eighth best team from the earlier round.
As Romania did not take up the offer, the US quartet found itself having to re-run their heat earlier this morning on their own.
Not only did the Americans qualify for the final, they ironically set a World Junior leading 3:34.25, and that was without individual gold medallist Spencer!
As expected the Americans led tonight's final from the gun, won the race unchallenged and clocked yet another World Junior leading 3:30.01 to clinch the country’s eighth gold of these championships – before their male counterparts won the ninth.
Anchored by 400m Hurdles champion Janieve Russell, Jamaica clinched silver in 3:32.97 well clear of Russia in third at 3:36.42, anchor leg Ekaterina Renzhina taking most of the credit for the medal.
In fact, Russia never featured among a potential medallist until 200 metres to go after third place position kept swapping from Poland, Ukraine and Germany.
After an amazing second leg run by Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz, Poland held second position only to fade to seventh at the finish. The Ukraine’s made a quick appearance in third position with one lap to go but would eventually end up fourth in 3:37.02 just ahead of Germany in 3:37.23 both teams being overtaken by the fast finishing Renzhina on the line.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF