In perhaps the least competitive event of the weekend, the Russian women destroyed the competition with their 3:28.45 relay win.
European indoor champion Natalya Antyukh put her team far ahead, leading off with 51.57, ironically the fastest contribution to the Russian quartet. But with the lead she carved in the opening 400, the others were able to relax.
The winner had been identified long before the finish, and a battle was developing for the remaining medals.
Sandie Richards pulled her Jamaican team (3:31.23) into a silver medal in the final 150 metres, while Mary Danner of the US (3:31.69) survived a momentary scare from Catherine Murphy of Great Britain on the final curve.
The Americans held on for the bronze medal, as the British team set a national record with 3:32.18 in fourth.