10 MAR 2001 General News

Men 4x400 metre relay heats

Men's 4x400 relay heats

Heat 1Although both the Polish and American teams easily took the two automatic spots for the final, it could have been one of those ordinary finishes.

Robert Mackowiak, the final runner for Poland, decided to add some spice to the final 50 metres of the heat.

The current European silver medalist did a quick lateral move to the right, while running at full speed, with 30 metres remaining to get some running space, and powered past Trinity Gray to give the Polish team a psychological lift going into Sunday's final.

Poland's winning time of 3:06.33 pipped the US's 3:06.39. The British team, with 3:07.57, took third, and with it, one of the time qualification spots for the final race.

Heat 2- Jamaica and Nigeria held the lead for virtually all of the first three legs. At the final handoff, Andrey Semyonov of Russia took a quick lead over Jamaica's Greg Haughton.

The Sydney bronze medalist tried to overtake Semyonov on the final backstretch, but the Russian would not yield, taking his quartet to a 3:08.14 win, as the Jamaicans were timed in 3:08.29.

Nigeria, in third place at 3:09.76, advanced on time.