Women's 800m bronze medallist Jennifer Meadows of Great Britain & Northern Ireland takes the baton in the women's 4x400m heats in Berlin (Getty Images) © Copyright

Event Report - Women's 4x400m Relay - Heats

The women’s 4x400m Relay heats were quite uneventful with all the favourites making it easily to the final.

Heat 1 -

The United States cruised to win the first heat in 3:29.31 with anchor Sanya Richards easing up considerably. USA was in the lead from start to finish with Nigeria in second place in every exchange and kept that place to finish in 3:29.60 a season’s best with Shade Abugan finishing side by side with Solene Desert-Mariller of France, who also clocked 3:29.60 SB for third place and into the final. Australia was fourth in 3:30.80 and Italy fifth in 3:31.05.

Heat 2 -

Like the Americans in the first heat, Russian women totally controlled heat two winning in 3:23.80 season’s best, considerably faster than United States in heat one. Russians lead the race from start to finish with Great Britain quite close behind in first exchange followed by Jamaica and Great Britain. The Brits had moved to second place in exchange two thanks to Vicki Barr leaving Jamaica to third place and Germany to fourth. In start of backstraight in the third leg Jamaica’s Rosemarie Whyte burst to second place past Great Britain’s 800m bronze medallist Jennifer Meadows with Russia leading clearly in the third exchange. Jamaica, Great Britain and Germany anchored by Novlene Williams-Mills, Lee McConnell and Claudia Hoffmann respectively, were extremely close in the start of last leg. Russia’s Lyudmila Litvinova didn’t have to give her best with Jamaica getting the second place in 3:24.72, but Germany, with crowd roaring, passed the Britons for the third place clocking 3:25.08 for third place and straight to the final. But the Britons' time 3:25.23, a season’s best and Cuba’s 3:27.36 SB for fifth place were also enough to qualify for the final by time. Canada set a season’s best time 3:29.17 for sixth place.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF