Team Americas closed out day one of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 in fine style with a slick display of baton exchanges to seal an easy win in the men’s 4x100m relay.
They got off to a flying start via Michael Rodgers, who handed off to fellow US sprinter Noah Lyles, the 21-year-old lengthening their advantage down the back straight before handing off to Yohan Blake. The Jamaican powered around the bend and after he handed over to compatriot Tyquendo Tracey with a six-metre advantage, victory was assured.
Tracey brought them home in splendid isolation to win in 38.05, with the all-Turkish European team of Emre Zafer Barnes, Jak Ali Harvey, Yigitcan Hekimoglu and Ramil Guliyev a strong second in 38.96.
“It’s a cool event putting the whole continent together,” said Lyles, who was making his IAAF Continental Cup debut. “Today when I was taking my gear out of the bag I thought to myself, ‘man, I would have never thought I could be in one team with Yohan Blake.’ We had a good chemistry in the team; taking the baton from Mike and then pushing myself was a blast.”
Third place went to Asia-Pacific, whose quartet of Trae Williams, Joseph Millar, Jin Su Jung and Jake Doran claimed third place and four points in 39.55.
There was anguish for the African quartet, however, specifically first-leg runner Henricho Bruintjies, who crashed to the track moments before handing over the baton after sustaining a sudden injury. As they failed to finish, they did not receive any points.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF