With a terrific leg from individual 400m hurdles champion Anna Cockerell, the United States closed up a sizeable gap on the Jamaicans at the halfway point of the 4x400m final.
The stage was set for a fantastic contest to close the women’s programme but as the USA took the lead on the changeover with Karrington Winters, her Jamaican counterpart Stacey-Ann Williams appeared to show some inexperience as she ran wide around the bend in an effort to overtake the US quartet.
But Williams was clearly unaware of the protocol as she didn’t break from the second lane for the duration of her leg. The USA had turned a small deficit into a 20-metre advantage which 800m champion Samantha Watson – a 52.69 performer for the one-lap event – wasn’t going to surrender.
Jamaica’s Junelle Bromfield appeared to be closing for a time but the individual bronze medallist was left with a near impossible task as the United States claimed their eighth successive 4x400m title in 3:29.11 with the Jamaicans nearly two seconds down in 3:31.01.
Bromfield’s gutsy closing leg put the Jamaicans safe in the silver medal position ahead of Canada – with Victoria Tachinski on anchor – who just held off the Germans for bronze, 3:32.25 to 3:32.63.
Steven Mills for the IAAF