08 MAR 2014 Report Sopot, Poland

Report: women's 4x400m relay heats – Sopot 2014

Victoria Ohuruogu hands over to Christine Ohuruogu in the 4x400m at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (Getty Images)Victoria Ohuruogu hands over to Christine Ohuruogu in the 4x400m at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (Getty Images) © Copyright

The US quartet improved the world lead by more than a second in speeding to 3:29.06 to establish themselves as the favourite for the gold medal in Sunday’s final.

Natasha Hastings, a regular member of successful US relay teams in recent years, opened their campaign and the squad took the second heat with reasonable ease as Jernail Hayes took over in the lead on the second leg and the USA were never headed.

Monica Hargrove then passed the baton on to 2012 NCAA 400m hurdles champion Cassandra Tate. Jamaica came through strongly to clock a 3:29.43 national record.

Behind them, Poland registered a 3:29.48 season’s best and the Nigerians clocked a 3:29.67 personal best.

Utilising world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu on their anchor leg, the British team claimed the first heat with a 3:30.60 season’s best, while Russia – the eight-time champions of this event – ran a 3:30.60 season’s best for second place behind them.

Although failing to qualify for the final, Italy set a 3:31.99 national record when finishing in third place in heat one. 

Nicola Bamford for the IAAF