Russians Win Gold
The Russian quartet of Yuliya Pechonkina, Olesya Krasnomovets, Natalya Antyukh and Svetlana Pospelova took gold in 3min20.95sec with Jamaica in silver two and half seconds down and Great Britain taking bronze.
After the disqualification of the Americans in the semi-final for a lane infringement it was clear barring disaster the Russians would have little trouble reclaiming the title they last won in Seville 1999.
Led off in lane five by 400m hurdles gold Pechonkina she gave Krasnomovets a slender lead over Britain’s Lee McConnell from Jamaican Shericka Williams. At the break Jamaica had overtaken the GB squad with Poland closing fast. Out in front Krasnomovets was laying the foundations of a Russian victory. Behind there was a tremendous scrap brewing between Novlene Williams JAM, Donna Fraser GBR and Monika Bejnar POL.
Antyukh went through the motions on the third leg consolidating the lead and handing over to 400m fourth placer Pospelova for the lap of honour. Jamaica’s Lorraine Fenton looked safe in second but on the final lap Christine Ohuruogu GBR was having a tremendous tussle with 400m hurdler Anna Jesien POL for bronze. At the entry to the final straight the Briton moved out to force Jesien wide giving her a few precious centimetres to work with, a lead she maintained to the line. Despite the disappointment of missing out on a medal the Poland squad had the consolation of setting a national record of 3:24.49.