2014 IAAF World Relays Diary: Fantastic first day of World Relays, by Alfons Juck

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Obiri_HellenFV-Bahamas14.JPg
Hellen Obiri anchors Kenyan Womens to WR in 4 x 1,500m, 16;33.58
photo by PhotoRun.net

Blake_JohanFH-Bahamas14.JPg
Yohan Blake anchors Jamaica to WR in 4 x 200 m of 1:18.63, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Kipketer_AlfredFH-Bahamas14.JPg
Kenya wins Men's 4 x 800 in 7:08.40 from Poland, USA, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Lawson_LaKeishaFH-Bahamas14.JPg
LaKeisha Larson leads women's 4 x 100m to USA victory in 41.88, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In a spectacular first day of competition at the World Relays, we say a WR at the 4 x 200 meters for men (1:18.63), a WR at the women's 4 x 1,500m (16:33.58), strong wins in women's 4x100m by USA (41.88) and tight win in men's 4x800m by Kenya.

Most importantly, IAAF is innovating, moving this event to the Bahamas. The crowd of 15,000 was thunderous, especially when Chris Brown was introduced. Fast MONDO track, great media conditions (internet flying), and great announcing shows sport at its best. Crowd was treated to good food stands, well placed security, transportation and beautiful weather.

That the Bahamanian government and Ministry of sport is picking up the tab is no brainer. Every foreign fan will be back. On my walk on Friday night down the beach, i spoke to teenagers working out. They knew about meet. They knew about Chris Brown, the godfather of Bahamas Track & Field.

Oh for some splits. Confirmed that Brenda Martinez ran 3:59.83 for 1,500m anchor and Yohan Blake timed between 19.00-19.30 for 200m anchor. 

On US team snafu in 4 x 200 meters, a modest suggestion. Now that Max Siegel has a half billion from Nike for funding, how about getting the relay coaches to remember what they were taught as high school, junior high and club coaches; stop changing teams, practice and he who gets baton around track fastest without dropping baton, actually wins! We had three teams who could have run faster from USA and not dropped baton in 4 x 200 meters! What should have been the second closest race of the weekend was a total route by Jamaica. 

Sunday night should be amazing. Now, time to hit the beach for a walk and some sun tan time. 

BLAKE ANCHORS JAMAICA TO WR, AS EXPECTED KENYA WR WOMEN 4X1500 M

NASSAU (BAH, May 24): First day of inaugural IAAF World Relays offered for the packed Thomas Robinson Stadium in excellent atmosphere two world records (men 4x200 m, women 4x1500 m) and world leads 2014 in two events (men 4x800 m, women 4x100 m). IAAF would need to pay twice 50 000 USD World record bonus to the Kenyan women and Jamaican men apart of the winning 50 000 USD.

 

Short event by event

 

Men

 

 

4x200 m: Jamaica with Ashmeade, Weir, J. Brown and Blake (19.0 flying split) improved Santa Monica TC (USA) 20 years old World record by 0.05. USA was disqualified (second exchange, from Moscow 2013 200m bronze medallist Curtis Mitchell to Ameer Webb was completed outside the zone, they still finished initially third) so the other medals went to St. Kitts and Nevis 1:20.51 NR and France (with Lemaitre as the starter) European record 1:20.66.

 

4x400 m: Home Bahamas were fastest in heats with 3:00.30 in Olympic 2012 gold composition (Pinder 45.5, Miller 44.5, Brown 44.8, Mathieu 45.5), Britain won the first heat 3:00.74 European lead 2014. US won the other heat 3:01.09 without Merritt and McQuay. No other European team qualified, Belgium with three Borlee brothers was first non-qualifier 3:02.79 by 0.01.

 

4x800 m: Kenya won due to the best average in 7:08.40 (F. Rotich 1:46.0, S. Kibet 1:45.7, Kinyor 1:47.9, A. Kipketer 1:48.8) but it came surprisingly close at the finish with Kszczot beating Solomon and Poland second 7:08.69 NR over USA 7:09.06.

 

Women

 

 

4x100 m: Great World lead for USA (fast even without some top names) winning in 41.88 (Bartoletta, Anderson, Tarmoh, Lawson) over Jamaica 42.28 (Russell, Stewart, Calvert, Henry-Robinson) without Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who is in Nassau. Great battle for bronze as Trinidad beat Nigeria by 0.01 42.66 to 42.67. Fifth Great Britain in European lead 2014 42.75. USA and Jamaica clocked world leads already in heats with identical 42.29. Trinidad was faster in heats 42.59.

 

4x400 m: USA World leading 3:23.84 (still saving Atkins and Hastings for the final) with Jamaica second fastest 3:24.95 (saving Novlene Williams-Mills). Nigeria won the other heat 3:27.07. Russia did not compete due to muscle spasms of Ayvika Malanova.

 

4x1500 m: Expected great World record for Kenya 16:33.58 (Mercy Cherono 4:07.50, Faith Kipyegon 4:08.50, Irene Jelagat 4:10.50 and Hellen Obiri 4:07.08). Also under former WR second USA 16:55.33 (Kampf 4:09.20, Mackey 4:19.40, Grace 4:26.90 fell, Martinez unbelievable 3:59.83) and bronze for Australia 17:08.65 NR. Former Kenyan top mark was 17:05.72 from this spring.

 

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