US relay team sets indoor world record for title

Comments:  | Leave A Comment

SOPOT, Poland (AP) — The United States set a world record in the 4×400 meters relay on Sunday to cap a dominating performance throughout the world indoor championships.

In the last event of the three-day meet, Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler III, and Calvin Smith Jr. got the baton around in a time of 3 minutes, 2.13 seconds, slashing .70 off the 15-year-old indoor mark set by another U.S. relay team at the 1999 world indoors.

The U.S. team beat Britain into silver and Jamaica took bronze.

“The combination of these guys is amazing. They brought it out of me,” said Clemons, who already took bronze in the individual 400.

The record gave the U.S. team eight gold and 12 medals overall, more than double the total of runner-up Russia, which had three gold and five overall.

Poland Athletics Indoor Worlds

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce carries the national flag after winning the 60m final during the Athletics World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

In Sunday’s top individual race, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce kept the 60 meter title in Jamaica with the fastest run by anyone in four years. The double Olympic 100 champion finish in 6.98 seconds, beating Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast by .03 seconds. Tianna Bartoletta of the United States took bronze.

Veronica Campbell-Brown was the double defending champion but still too rusty to be at her best as she was only cleared at the last moment to compete at the championships after a doping scandal had sidelined her since last summer.

The result proved Jamaica’s sprint credentials again, but overall the day and the championships again belonged to the United States.

The first U.S. gold Sunday came in the women’s 800, where Chanelle Price did all the frontrunning and refused to fade over the final two laps, as she disregarded the massive cheers of the home crowd that was pushing for Angelika Cichocka.

Poland Athletics Indoor Worlds

United States’ Francena McCorory, right, has handed over the baton to Cassandra Tate to win the women’s 4x400m relay final during the Athletics World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Then, the 4×400 women’s  team led from start to finish to easily win the relay ahead of Jamaica and Britain.

And in the wide-open 60 hurdles, Omo Osaghae dipped at the line to beat two Frenchmen in a world leading 7.45. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde was .01 back and Garfield Darien a further .01 second in a tight finish.

It was the perfect setup for the concluding relay record.

Poland Athletics Indoor Worlds

Czech Republic’s gold medal winner Pavel Maslak is flanked by Bahamas’ silver medal winner Chris Brown, left, and United States’ bronze medal winner Kyle Clemons during the ceremony for the men’s 400m at the Athletics Indoor World Championships in Sopot, Poland, Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

On Sunday, no one was as overwhelming as Genzebe Dibaba. She breezed to a gold medal in the 3,000 meters, failing to add a third world record in a season but clinching a long-distance title after the 1,500 two years ago.

Dibaba knew from the start she was in a league all her own, and when she took charge at the halfway point only a few could match her pace. With a kick for home with two laps to go, the Ethiopian immediately created a yawning gap, leaving silver to defending champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya and bronze to Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain.

Poland Athletics Indoor Worlds

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba crosses the finish line to win the 3000m final during the Athletics World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Dibaba had already set world records in the 1,500 and 3,000 and a world best over 2 miles this winter but decided against a double in Sopot because it would be too draining.

“It’s been a great year for me,” said the younger sister of Tirunesh Dibaba, the triple Olympic and five-time world long-distance champion.

“Tirunesh also wanted me to focus on the gold and not the time,” she said. “I have done what they hoped and expected.”

Mohammed Aman added to a good day for Ethiopia when the 800 defending champion swept past two Polish runners to take another gold, and put his nation third in the gold medal standings. Adam Kszczot got silver. Teammate Marcin Lewandowski crossed in third place but was later disqualified.

Kszczot’ silver delighted the home crowd at the Ergo Arena after Anna Rogowska had failed to live up to expectations in the pole vault, finishing fifth behind gold medalist Yarisley Silva of Cuba, who scaled 4.70 meters. Two silver medalists Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia and Jirina Svobodova of the Czech Republic scaled the same height but missed out on the title on a countback.

Olympic champion Jenny Suhr only cleared 4.65 before she skipped the next height and failed three times at 4.75.

___

Follow Raf Casert on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rcasert

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,237 other followers