World Champs Women’s 4 x 400 — USA All The Way

The race was basically done once Phyllis Francis handed off to Sydney McLaughlin in the lead. (KEVIN MORRIS)

AS EXPECTED, the favored United States quartet of Phyllis Francis, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Wadeline Jonathas won the final women’s event, and did so handily. Their 3:18.92 is the fastest time in the world this year (and the No. 9 American clocking ever). The silver went to Poland (3:21.89), with bronze to Jamaica (3:22.37).

The U.S. team included the first 2 finishers in the 400 hurdles (Muhammad & McLaughlin), as well as the 4th- and 5th-placers in the flat 400, Jonathas & Francis. That depth was more than any other could counter. In fact, if Team USA had stayed with the foursome that ran in the heats and run the same time as in the heats, their 3:22.96, would have sufficed for 3rd. Jessica Beard (52.2), Allyson Felix (49.8), Kendall Ellis (51.1) and Courtney Okolo (49.9) handled the baton in the opening rounds, with all but Ellis having earned earlier golds running the final or heat of the mixed 4×4.

Opening Leg

Francis, running in lane 7, led off, making up the stagger on Ukraine on the backstretch. She added to her lead in the homestretch, and despite fading slightly over the last 20m, handed off a half-second ahead of Poland, a 4m lead. Francis ran 50.5, to the 51.0 for Poland’s 400 finalist Iga Baumgart-Witan, with Jamaica’s Anastasia Le-Roy next with a 51.5 carry. Great Britain (Zoey Clark 51.8) and Belgium (Hanne Claes 52.1) were the only other teams still in contention.

Second Leg

McLaughlin started out with a controlled rhythm on the first turn, opening the lead over Poland to 6m at the break for the pole. Britain’s Jodie Williams ran hard through the first turn and reached the backstretch 2m behind Poland’s Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz, with Jamaica’s Tiffany James now back in 4th. By the end of the straight, McLaughlin had widened the gap to 10m, held it around the turn, and then added to the growing margin in the homestretch. At the handoff, McLaughlin’s 48.8—the fastest split in the race by 0.7 seconds—had extended the margin to 13m over Wyciszkiewicz’s 50-flat, with Williams having run 49.6. That put the Brits 3m behind Poland but 9m up on Jamaica, James finishing her carry in 51.0.

Third Leg

Muhammad, running in her first 4×4 since ’12, went out hard, opening the lead to at least 20m at the top of the backstretch and widened it further on the straight. Her 49.5 carry put her almost 25m up on Poland’s Małgorzata Hołub-Kowalik, whose 50.7 kept the Poles 3m up on both Jamaica (Stephenie Ann McPherson 49.6) and Britain (Emily Diamond 50.7).

Anchor Leg

Given an insurmountable lead—barring an unforeseen mishap—Jonathas sped around the turn and had built a lead of nearly 30m by the time Poland and Jamaica hit the straight. Jamaican anchor Shericka Jackson, the 400 bronze medalist, was on Justyna Święty-Ersetic’s shoulder at the top of the backstretch. Jackson gained the rail and a 2m advantage by the end of the straight, with Britain’s Lavial Nielsen another 2m back as the battle for silver was closing up. As Nielsen faded, Święty-Ersetic put on a final drive, pulling even with Jackson halfway through the homestretch.

With Jonathas holding form, the three chasing runners closed the gap slightly, but with only silver and bronze at stake. Jonathas reached the finish almost 25m ahead, her 50.1 closing out the 3:18.92. Święty-Ersetic ran 50.2 to finish Poland’s silver medal run, with Jackson running 50.3, 3m back.

Speaking for the American finalists, hurdles WR setter Dalilah Muhammad said, “Phyllis ran a great first leg and we all knew after her first leg that we had it in the bag. It was an honor to be part of this 4 x 400m and I happily accepted. Knowing that I had a World Record in my legs, it was fun.”



(October 06) (temperature 75F/24C; humidity 64%)

1. United States 3:18.92 (WL, AL) (18W; 9A)

(Phyllis Francis 50.5, Sydney McLaughlin 48.8, Dalilah Muhammad 49.43, Wadeline Jonathas 50.20);

2. Poland 3:21.89 NR (#11 nation)

(Iga Baumgart-Witan 51.0, Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz 50.0, Małgorzata Hołub-Kowalik 50.7, Justyna Święty-Ersetic 50.2);

3. Jamaica 3:22.37

(Anastasia Le-Roy 51.5, Tiffany James 51.0, Stephenie Ann McPherson 49.6, Shericka Jackson 50.3);

4. Great Britain 3:23.02

(Zoey Clark 51.8, Jodie Williams 49.6, Emily Diamond 50.7, Laviai Nielsen 50.9);

5. Belgium 3:27.15

(Hanne Claes 52.1, Imke Vervaet 51.7, Paulien Couckuyt 51.9, Camille Laus 51.5);

6. Ukraine 3:27.48

(Kateryna Klymyuk 52.8, Olha Lyakhova 51.3, Tetyana Melnyk 52.6, Anna Ryzhykova 50.8);

7. Netherlands 3:27.89

(Lieke Klaver 52.6, Lisanne de Witte 50.6, Bianca Baak 52.5, Femke Bol 52.2);

… dq[lane]—[5]Canada [3:25.91]

(Alicia Brown 52.6, Aiyanna Stiverne 51.1, Maddy Price 51.5, Sage Watson 50.7).

Lanes: 2. Belgium; 3. Netherlands; 4. Jamaica; 5. Great Britain; 6. Poland; 7. United States; 8. Ukraine; 9. Canada.
Reaction times: 0.152 Netherlands; 0.165 Great Britain; 0.167 Poland; 0.172 Belgium; 0.183 Jamaica; 0.210 Canada; 0.212 Ukraine; 0.253 United States.

— 4×4 Order By Leg —

Leg 1: 1. United States 50.5; 2. Poland 51.0; 3. Jamaica 51.5; 4. Great Britain 51.8; 5. Belgium 52.1; 6. Netherlands 52.6; 7. Canada 52.6; 8. Ukraine 52.8

Leg 2: 1. United States 1:39.29; 2. Poland 1:41.0; 3. Great Britain 1:41.4; 4. Jamaica 1:42.5; 5. Netherlands 1:43.2; 6. Canada 2:43.7; 7. Belgium 1:43.8; 8. Ukraine 1:44.1

Leg 3: 1. United States 2:28.72; 2. Poland 2:31.7; 3. tie, Great Britain & Jamaica 2:32.1; 5. Canada 2:35.2; 6. Belgium 2:35.7; 7. Netherlands 2:35.9; 8. Ukraine 2:36.7


(October 05)

I–1. Jamaica 3:23.64 (WL) (Roneisha McGregor 51.8, Anastasia Le-Roy 50.9, Tiffany James 50.9, Stephenie Ann McPherson 50.0);

2. Poland 3:25.78 (Święty-Ersetic 52.2); 3. Canada 3:25.86 (Watson 51.3); 4. Netherlands 3:27.40 (Bol 52.1);

5. Australia 3:28.64 (Bendere Oboya, Lauren Boden, Ellie Beer, Rebecca Bennett 51.7); 6. India 3:29.42 (Jisna Mathew, Machettira Raju Poovamma, V.K. Vismaya, Venkatesan Subha 52.6); 7. France 3:29.66 (Amandine Brossier, Deborah Sananes, Elise Trynkler, Agnes Raharolahy 52.7); 8. Nigeria 3:35.90 (Blessing Oladoye, Patience George, Abike Egbeniyi, Favour Ofili 53.5).

II–1. United States 3:22.96 (WL) (Jessica Beard 52.2, Allyson Felix 49.8, Kendall Ellis 51.1, Courtney Okolo 49.9);

2. Great Britain 3:24.99 (Nielsen 50.4); 3. Ukraine 3:26.57 (Anna Ryzhykova 50.4); 4. Belgium 3:26.58 NR (Laus 50.7);

6. Italy 3:29.84 (Maria Benedicta Chigbolu, Ayomide Folorunso, Giancarla Dimich Trevisan, Raphaela Boaheng Lukudo 51.2); 6. Cuba 3:29.84 (Zurian Hechavarría, Rose M. Almanza, Adriana Rodríguez, Roxana Gómez 51.7); 7. Switzerland 3:30.63 (Léa Sprunger, Fanette Humair, Rachel Pellaud, Yasmin Giger 53.1). ◻︎

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