With a reliably slick display of baton exchanges, Germany claimed its first women’s 4x100m title since 2000, holding off a late charge of Ireland to take gold in 43.82.
Winning just their third ever medal at the championships, Ireland set a national U20 record of 43.90 in second, with Britain coming home third in 44.05.
Germany, missing their individual 100m finalist Keshia Kwadwo, was led off by Victoria Donicke, who passed to Corinna Schwab with a decent exchange. Ireland made headway up the back straight through European U20 champion Gina Akpe-Moses, who passed on to Ciara Neville for the third leg.
For Germany, Sophie Junk ripped around the bend only an hour after she had done the same in the 200m final, where she finished fifth. She handed over to anchor Denise Uphoff with a three-metre lead, with an iffy exchange from Ireland costing them a crucial step on their chief rivals.
However, Patience Jumbo-Gula, who set a championship record of 11.59 at the European U18 Championships last week over 100m, came charging down the home straight to close on Germany approaching the line, but it wasn’t enough.
“It's hard to describe how it feels to be world champions,” said Junk. “We've practised a lot for this and being world champions is huge – something we'll remember forever.”
Back in second, the Irish quartet was overjoyed with their silver, the first ever relay medal by an Irish team at a major outdoor championship.
“I was trying so hard to pass the German girl but she just got away,” said Jumbo-Gula. “But I’m happy we came second. It’s a huge achievement.”
“We knew we had to do it,” said Molly Scott. “Over the years we’ve had so much disappointment, so many times it went wrong and now we’ve finally won a medal. It’s our last year as juniors so to finally do it is amazing.”
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF