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Johnson anchors US to relay world record

Johnson anchors US team to 4x400m World Record

Michael Johnson confirmed that he was back with a vengeance yesterday as he anchored the US men's 4x400 relay team to victory and a new world record of 2:54.20 - nine hundredths of a second faster than the previous world record set by the American team in the IAAF World Championships in Stuttgart on 22 August 1993.

Once again it was Johnson who ran the anchor leg and his impresive 43.1 clinched the record after the first leg of 44.2 by Jerome Young, 43.2 by fomer world champion Antonio Pettigrew and Tyree Washington's third leg of 43.5. The injury problems of last year and the nagging hip rotule problems of earlier in the season seem to be behind Johnson now and, though he is still staying away from the 200m, his victory on 21 July in the 400m in a season's best time of 43.76, following on from his comeback in the Golden Gala in Rome on July 14, where he dashed British hopeful Mark Richardson's Golden League jackpot hopes when he finished 0.22 seconds ahead of him to cross the line in  44.40, show that he is not yet ready to relinquish his predominance of the 400. "The guys ran great legs", Johnson said after the race. "I didn't want it to go to waste. I didn't want to let the guys down.

"It's kind of hard running from the front but it didn't matter to me. I just wanted to break the world record."

The US 4x100m relay team also won their event earlier in the evening, giving Maurice Greene another victory over Canadian arch-rival Donovan Bailey: "You always get satisfaction beating the man (Bailey)" Greene said after the race.


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