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Kenya Sets Second World Record at World Relays
- Updated: 05/25/2014
NASSAU, Bahamas – The two-day inaugural World Relays ended here today with the presentation of the Golden Baton to the USA for the best overall team competing in the ten finals, amassing 60 points for five victories: the men’s 4x400m, the women’s 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m and 4x800m. They picked up additional points in the men’s 4x800m and 4x1500m and the women’s 4x1500m. Eight points were awarded for first, seven for second, down to one point for eighth place.
Jamaica was second with 41 points, delivered mainly by first-place finishes in the men’s 4x100m and 4x200m relays. The women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays provided second-place finishes as well. Kenya finished third with 35, drawing top points from both the men’s and women’s 4x1500m races.
However, the night belonged to the men from Kenyan, who, like their female counterparts, accomplished what they came for: a world record of 14mins, 22.22secs in the 4x1500m. Collins Cheboi, Silas Kiplagat, James Kiplagat Magat, and Asbel Kiprop all clocked sub-minute splits for each of their four legs. The US was a distant 14:40.80 behind them, followed by Ethiopia in 14:41.22. Ethiopia led for the first three laps, running under a minute for each lap until the Kenyans rebuffed their challenge to take charge and eventually lowered the record by 14 seconds to take home US$50,000 as a world record bonus in addition to US$50,000 first-place prize money.
Just prior to the presentation of the Golden Baton, Jamaica closed the meet on a high note, as its men’s team of Nesta Carter, Nickel Ashmeade, Julian Forte and Yohan Blake (9.07 anchor with a running start) won the sprint relay in 37.77secs, 0.06secs slower than the time registered in the qualifying rounds by the quartet of Carter, Kemar-Bailey-Cole, Forte, and Andrew Fisher (9.01). In that race, Bahamas and the USA were disqualified from going on the final for passing outside the zone.
Trinidad and Tobago came in second in the final with 38.04, thanks to Richard Thompson’s driving anchor run that overtook Dwain Chambers of Great Britain.
The long-awaited men’s 4x400m was not a race for the slouch or faint-hearted and saw the top three teams tightly bunched throughout. It was the event that generated deafening noise at the highest decibel as a straight three-way battle ensued among the London 2012 and 2014 Penn Relays winners Bahamas, the USA and Trinidad and Tobago.
With a blazing third leg by Bahamian veteran Chris Brown running for his life and the supportive crowd losing their minds, the Bahamas stayed in front with Trinidad and the US in hot pursuit. That was until the Moscow 2013 400m champion LaShawn Merritt of the US took the baton in third position. Merritt began to press as he bore down on Trinidad and then went after the Bahamas’s Michael Mathieu, passing him halfway into the home straight to capture gold in 2:57.25. But Bahamas was not far behind in second with 2:57.59, leaving Trinidad to take third in 2:58.34. Results