2014 World Relays Diary: Kenya holds off Poland and US in Men's 4x800 meters, by Larry Eder

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Thomas A. Robinson stadium, the home of the World Relays! 

Not a WR, but a fantastic race as Kenya tried to steal it, and US and Poland came down the final straightaway trying to get Kenya, with Adam Kzszcot of Poland barely missing Alfred Kipketer of Kenya as Duane Solomon faltered in the final forty meters in the heat. 
Kenya holds of Poland and US in Men's 4x800 meters! 

In the first final of the World Relays, Kenya went out hard, hitting 50 seconds for lap one and 1:46.00 for the 800m mark, with Ferguson Rotich handing off to Sammy Kirongo. USA's Michael Rutt and Poland's Karol Koneczny ran together, in leg 1, handing off to Robby Andrews for US and Szymon Krawczyk. Australia was close behind, as Joshua Ralph handed off to Ryan Gregson. 

In leg two, Sammy Kirongo built a lead of thirty meters. With a straightaway to go, Robby Andrews sprinted away and started to build up a nice fifteen meter lead for third US leg, Brandon Johnson. 

On the final exchange, Brandon Johnson looked like he was ready to stop, probably due to heat and humidity and gave up the fifteen meter lead that he had built up from Robby Andrews. Duane Solomon took the baton with Kenya's Alfred Kipketer out ahead by forty meters and Adam Kzszcot, the European champion from Poland in front of him and Jared West of Australia right there. 

The Kenyan's started to drastically slow down on lap two (Kipketer ran the final lap in 60 seconds), as Duane Solomon, Adam Kzszcot began to make some headway, with Jared West bravely holding on. 

On the final straightaway, it looked like Duane Solomon had a chance at Kipketer, then, Adam Kzszcot flew on by and went for Kipketer, giving Poland second, Kenya holding on, barely, for to first and the US in third. 

Barely is enough as the Kenyan team jumped onto the track to celebrate! 

Six of the nine teams set National records! 

Kenya wins $50k for first, Poland gets $30k and US takes home $20k for their gold, silver and bronze medals! 

Men's 4x 800m relays, Final, World Relays: 1. Kenya, 7:08.40, CR, 2. Poland, 7:08.69, NR, 3. USA, 7:09.06, SB, 4. Australia, 7:011.48, AR, 5. Spain, 7:19.90, SR, 6. Mexico, 7:21.12, NR, 7. Bermuda, 7:21.87, PB, 8. Slovak Republic, 7:32.87, NR, 9. Uganda, 7:53.34, PB,#worldrelays

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