United States was the fastest team to qualify for the men’s 4x400 Metres Relay final, but another favourite Bahamas was disqualified following a second place finish in their heat. France and Great Britain made themselves medal candidates in heat one behind the USA and Belgium looked impressive winning heat two.
Heat 1 -
Men’s first heat started as expected with Lionel Larry of United States in the lead in first exchange closely followed by France, Great Britain and Nigeria. In the back straight with the runners moving to inside lanes the teams were still quite close with USA still in the lead and Great Britain in second place. USA will still leading on the second exchange with France again in second, Nigeria in third with Great Britain down to fourth place. In the backstraight for the third leg Ben Offereins of Australia quickly moved his team from last to second place only to be overtaken by France’s Yannick Fonsat who brought the baton to the last exchange tied with USA’s Bershawn Jackson, the bronze medallist in 400m Hurdles here in Berlin.
Another 400m Hurdler Angelo Taylor, the triple Olympic gold medallist, had no problems keeping United States in the front anchoring his team to a win in 3:01.40 with France holding on to second place with Yoann Decimus in 3:01.65 season’s best. Australia was in third place in the start of the home straight, the last automatic qualifying spot, but Martyn Rooney of Great Britain ran a good last 100 metres to grab the third place to his team in 3:01.91 with Australia dropped to fourth place clocking a season’s best 3:02.04. Nigeria was fifth in 3:02.36 and Russia sixth in 3:02.78.
Heat 2 -
Bahamas was in control of the heat two with Ramon Miller running the quickest opening leg and giving his team the lead after leg one with South Africa in second place. Dominican Republic’s Arismendy Peguero challenged Bahamas’ Avard Moncur, double World champion from Edmonton 2001, well in the final curve with Bahamas holding on to the lead in second exchange with Dominican Republic close behind and Belgium now in third place thanks to a good second leg by Cédric van Branthegem.
Nothing changed during the third leg with Latoy Williams leading Bahamas to the last exchange. Félix Sánchez, eighth here in Berlin in the 400m Hurdles, ran a good anchor leg to reach Bahamas’ Nathanael McKinney in the start of home straight, but surprisingly they were both overtaken by Kévin Borlée of Belgium clocking a 3:02.13 season’s best win for his country in the end. Bahamas was second, but was disqualified soon after the race. Therefore Dominican Republic in 3:02.76 took second and Poland, anchored by fast finishing Jacek Ciepiela, took third in a 3:03.23 season’s best to qualify for the final. Germany, who were passed in the finish by Poland was fourth in 3:03.52 with Jamaica, who were never in the race, only fifth in 3:04.45.
Bahamas was disqualified under rule 170.8 as the second runner on the team started before the takeover zone.
The Bahamian team lodged a protest with the referee, who declined it. BAH then filed an appeal. The jury of appeal examined the video, heard the referee and rejected the appeal.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF