25 JUL 2010 General News

Women's 4x400m relay final

Regina George anchors the USA to gold in the women's 4x400m (Getty Images)Regina George anchors the USA to gold in the women's 4x400m (Getty Images) © Copyright

Team USA won the women’s 4x400m relay gold medal as a quartet of Daimond Dixon, Stacey-Ann Smith, Laura Roesler and Regina George clocked the season’s fastest time in the world this year at 3:31.20.

Early leaders Nigeria, anchored by individual silver medallist Margaret Etim held on for silver in 3:31.84 with Jamaica holding off the Bahamas’ for bronze with 3:32.24 and a national record 3:33.43 respectively.

The crowd’s favourite, team Canada concluded in fifth in 3:35.08 after lead leg runner Katherine Reid set off to a superb start and handed the baton to Annie Leblanc in first position. However, Nigeria had fielded its second best runner Bukola Abogunloko in second position and she let her speed do the talking jumping into the lead as the teams broke from their lane draws.

An individual fifth placer in the 400m final, Smith held second for the USA with Bahamas and Jamaica following close behind. At the second exchange, the Jamaicans moved into third with the Canadians trailing back five metres behind in fifth.

Up front, Chizoba Okodogbe kept the Africans in the lead and opened a gap as big as five metres coming into the homestretch but she would soon pay for her efforts as fatigue struck in. Laura Roesler ran a more balanced race and the American had plenty left as she put the US in the lead for the first time in the race and opened a gap big enough for George to cruise through the final lap.

Anchor leg Shanae Miller who won the individual gold medal could not close the gap with the Jamaicans and Bahamas had to settle for fourth although rewarded with a new national junior record.

It was the United States' fifth consecutive World junior title in the event.