The US quartet dominated the women’s 4x400m as expected, flying to a championship record of 3:23.85 to secure their third straight victory.
USA saved the individual 400m gold and silver medallists, Courtney Okolo and Shakima Wimbley, for the final two legs. 2016 world indoor 400m bronze medallist Quanera Hayes ran the opening two laps in 51.56 to pass over to 2012 Olympic 400m hurdles finalist Georganne Moline, whose 50.87 split helped open up the gap over Jamaica and Poland.
Wimbley, the 400m silver medallist, then produced a 51.27 split to hand over to 400m champion Okolo with a clear advantage.
The 2016 world indoor and Olympic 4x400m gold medallist sped to an anchor split of 50.15 to bring the team home in 3:23.85, the second-fastest indoor time in history. It also meant the USA claimed their fourth 4x400m relay gold from the past five editions, and their 13th 4x400m medal overall at the World Indoor Championships.
“We came together as a team as we always do,” said Hayes. “We don’t train together during the normal season but as soon as you put USA across our chest, everything else goes out of the window. We came out saying we are going to give our all.”
“I just tried to run my best race, tactically as smart as I could,” said Okolo. “The team made a great lead for me.”
Jamaica crossed the line in second place but were soon disqualified after one of their athletes was in the incorrect order when receiving the baton. It meant that Poland claimed the silver with a national indoor record of 3:26.09 with European indoor 400m bronze medallist Justyna Swiety-Ersetic this time running their lead-off leg instead of the final leg as she often does.
Following Jamaica’s disqualification, Great Britain and Northern Ireland moved up to third place with a 3:29.38 season’s best. In the absence of individual 400m bronze medallist Eilidh Doyle, 400m finalist Zoe Clark ran the final leg.
Ukraine ran a 3:31.32 season’s best for fourth place, while the Italian team ran a 3:31.55 national record in fifth.
Nicola Sutton for the IAAF