With individual gold medallist Ashley Owens running the opening leg, USA’s 4x100m relay team got underway for what was a very smooth race. With three clean baton exchanges the team made of Owens, Broaddus, Baldwin and Tyson set a new World Junior leading mark of 44.00 well clear of runner up Poland in second with 44.78. Supported by the loud crowd, Italy set a new national junior record of 44.82 to take the first of two “fastest losers” spots for the final.
Heat two was dominated by Trinidad and Tobago anchored by Kelly Ann Baptiste, fourth in the individual 200m final, who set a new national junior record of 44.29. It took Australia a new Area record of 44.86 to take the second qualifying spot while a fast finishing team of Ukraine was disqualified for an illegal baton exchange.
The final heat turned out to be the fastest race as the French quartet improved the recent World Junior best of team USA to 43.85. Germany was second in 44.58 while Jamaica advanced to the final in third thanks to the superb effort of Kimberly Smith who despite pulling a muscle 40 metres from the line pursued her effort and collapsed after crossing the finish line.
Six national junior records were set in these semi-finals.