17 JUL 2004 General News In the first of two semi

Women's 4x400m - semi finals

finals in the women’s 4x400m relay, the American quartet of Leah, Anderson, Lawrence and Smith ran a new World junior leading time of 3:30.13 to advance comfortably to tomorrow’s final. Team USA was in the lead as early as the first exchange and gradually increased its margin as Stephanie Smith crossed the line a good 50 metres ahead of Germany in second.

With Anja Pollmacher managing to hold on to second, Romania looked to have the third automatic qualifying spot secured with a good effort by Angela Morosanu but the 17-year old had given it all out and could not counter the fast finishing Xiaoyin Tang of China who took third in 3:37.13.

Romania’s time of 3:37.30 would be enough to advance to the final.

In the second semi final, 400m Hurdles individual gold medallist Ekaterina Kostetskaya was handed the baton with a comfortable 10-metre lead, easily controlled the return of Anneisha McLaughlin and anchored the team to 3:32.93. Jamaica took second place in 3:08.81 following a fantastic final leg by McLaughlin who took the baton in third position behind France.

A fading Symphora Behy managed to hold on to third in 3:35.91 with fast finishing Gemma Nicol offering the final qualification spot to Great Britain in fourth in 3:36.40.

The final promises to offer an exciting duel between Russia and USA with Jamaica a strong outsider.