The race for the gold medal in the women’s 4x400m relay on the final two days of competition looks wide open, compared to the other relays at this championships.
The battle between the USA, Jamaica and Russia looks to be a grueling one, with nine of the fastest 20 400m specialists this year coming from these three countries. Russia’s team will consist of former national champions Natalya NAZAROVA, Olesya ZYKINA and Svetlana POSPELOVA, who’s returning to competition after a two year ban this year. If 400m hurdler Yulia PECHONKINA decides to compete in this event, the Russian team will be extremely difficult to defeat.
The United States of America has not raced together this year and, given their poor baton changing in Edmonton two years ago, which cost them a medal, and the calibre of competition from Russia and Jamaica, don’t be too quick to hand the Americans the title. Likely runners are ex-Jamaican Sanya RICHARDS, DeeDee TROTTER and Demetria WASHINGTON.
Reigning title holders Jamaica can call on national champion Lorraine FENTON, plus Allison BECKFORD and Ronetta SMITH, and will be looking to match their gold medal winning performance in Edmonton.
Germany, whilst always competitive in this event, with a silver medal in Edmonton, are unlikely to go stride for stride with the Americans, Jamaicans and Russians. Watch out for Senegal (SEN) as the surprise packet, with two quality runners in Amy Mbacke THIAM and Fatou Bintou FALL, both competitive this year.