21 SEP 2002 General News

Women's 4x400m Relay

The 4x400m runners had to wait for the last women’s field event to be finsihed to get underway. Before the last event of the day in the women’s programme, Russia was leading with 119 points a mere point ahead of Europe while the Americas were third with a total of 101 points.

If the overall women’s World Cup would be fought between Russia and Europe, the 4x400m relay offered a traditional duel between the USA and the Americas.

With a pure Caribbean cocktail of world class runners – a Jamaican, a Cuban, a Bahamian and a Mexican – the Americas quartet won the race in 3:23.53, the second fastest time of the year.

In second, the USA clocked 3:24.67 well clear of Russia (3:26.59) and Africa (3:26.84).

Michelle Collins (USA) had the best first leg and handed the baton first to Crystal Cox who was closely followed by Daimi Pernia (AME) and Hortense Bewouda (AFR). The USA had a five metre lead with 200 metres to go to the second exchange but a magnificent run by 400m Hurdles specialists Pernia and Yuliya Pechonkina (RUS) put the three team level at the exchange. USA and the Americas were luckier in the exchange while Russia was a few metres adrift.

The third leg was a duel between Suziann Reid (USA) – who had dropped the baton in Edmonton – and Christine Amertil (AME) who reached the bell virtually at the same time.

Running the last leg for the America’s, Ana Guevara used all her power and psychological strength to take the inside to Monique Hennagan as son as she was handed the baton. The tiny lead rapidly built up into a consistent one and Guevara brilliantly anchored the Americas relay to victory.

Russia's Olesya Zykina managed to hold on to third with double African champion Kaltouma Nadjina finishing hard in fourth.

A European team of Prokopek, Yefremova, Usovich and McConnell could only finish fifth and therefore had to give up all hope for the team competition.

A great run by Jana Pittman for Oceania (second leg) and Maria Mutola for Africa (third leg) were also notable.

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