2017 IAAF World Relays, Day 2, by J. Stuart Weir

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672072958.jpgTianna Bartoletta, 4x100 meter relay, photo: Getty Images/IAAF

672055360.jpgClayton Murphy anchoring USA's winning 4x800m relay team, photo: Getty Images/IAAF

The second day of the 2017 IAAF World Relays had some fine races. Here is day 2 report from our friend, Stuart Weir. Apparently, much of the US did not see the relays as NBC sports moved a hockey game in place of the relays, to the consternation of some of our readers.

Sunday Finals

Men's 4 by 800

A storming run by Olympic bronze medallist, Clayton Murphy, on the final leg helped a USA team which also included Brannon Kidder, Erik Sowinski and Casimir Loxsom to finish in 7.13.16, holding off Kenya (7:13.70) with Poland third in 7:18.74.

Erik Sowinski said afterwards: "We know we have the best anchor so we just tried to keep it close for him, so that he can bring home the gold". Clayton Murphy said: "It was awesome, the hospitality is great".

Women's 4 by 400

United States rarely loses a women's 4 by 400 relay. The team of Phyllis Francis, Ashley Spencer, Quanera Hayes and Natasha Hastings finished in 3.24.36, with Poland who won the recent European Indoor title second in 3.28.28. Jamaica (3.28.49) just held off Great Britain (3.28.72) for bronze.

US co-captain, Natasha Hastings, revealed that diet may have been the key: "I did have some escoviche and boiled plantain this morning, maybe that helped. On a serious note, I'm specially blessed to have this group of young ladies with me".

Men's 4 by 200

Canada (Gavin Smellie, Brendon Rodney, Andre de Gasse and Aaron Brown) finished in 1.19.42 to defeat USA (Noah Lyles, Jarrion Lawson, Isiah Young and Ameer Webb) who finished in 1.19.88. Jamaica took bronze in 1.21.09. Andre de Grasse said afterwards: "It was a great run by all of us. We came together collectively, just wanted to keep the stick around. We told ourselves to trust each other and be patient. If we can do that, we could come away with the gold today and that's what we did yesterday".

Men's 4 by 400

The Men's 4 by 400 was the race of the evening with USA (David Verburg, Tony McQuay, Kyle Clemons and LeShawn Merritt) coming home in 3.02.13 to squeeze out Botswana (3.02.28). The US team rested LeShawn Merritt on day 1 suggesting that they would use him where he was most needed. I think they found the right place. Merritt summed up the victory: "We have a great group of guys here tonight, they did what they had to do and I did what I do best, that's bring it home. This is my third time here and third gold soo.... I'm 31 yrs old this year, I'm older , but also wiser. I just got to keep my body healthy".

Women's 4 by 100

The Women's 4 by 100 was won by an excellent German team but the race was marred by a fall by Tianna Bartoletta, running the first leg for USA, so depriving the race of the favorites. Barloletta was not hurt and shrugged off the incident as "what happens when you are running fast on a wet surface". The German team of Alexandra Burghardt, Lisa Mayer, Tatjana Pinto and Rebekka Haase got round in a time of 42.84. Germany came 4th in Rio with three of the Rio team running tonight. Jamaica was second in 42.95 - without any of the 2016 Olympic finalists running - and the People's Republic of China

Mixed 4 by 400

Bahamas (Steven Gardiner, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Antonique Strachan and Michael Matthieu) won in 3.14.42 with USA second in 3.17.29 and Jamaica third in 3.20.26.

It rained most of the day in Bahamas but that did not stop the fun at the IAAF/BTC World Relays. The slippery surface did produce one unfortunate accident but did not detract from a Bahamazing evening's races. There were racing certainties - USA in the women's 4 by 400, shocks like Germany winning the women's 4 by 100 and a battle royal between USA and Botswana in the men's 4 by 400. The event ended in a fitting manner with Bahamas winning an exciting mixed 4 by 400 relay with the crowd screaming the home team to victory.

Winners

Women's 4 by 100 Germany

Women's 4 by 200 Jamaica

Women's 4 by 400 USA

Women's 4 by 800 USA

Men's 4 by 100 USA

Men's 4 by 200 Canada

Men's 4 by 400 USA

Men's 4 by 800 USA

Mixed 4 by 400 Bahamas

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