Teams from USA and Jamaica secured victory on the first day of IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas.
The first of the finals was won by a US women’s quartet as Chanelle Price, Chrishuna Williams, Laura Roesler and Charlene Lipsey combined in the 4x800m to clock 8:16.36 to dominate ahead of a Belarus team anchored by world champion Marina Arzamasova (8:20.07) and Australia (8:21.08).
A World Relays record was broken in the women’s 4x200m as Jura Levy, Shericka Jackson, Shashalee Forbes and double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson ran 1:29.04 for Jamaica.
USA couldn’t challenge and eventually finished third behind Germany, who ran 1:30.68 to USA’s 1:30.87.
A dramatic last final of the first evening of action saw USA victorious in the men’s 4x100m (pictured), the team of Leshon Collins, Mike Rodgers, Ronnie Baker and Justin Gatlin clocking 38.43 to retain the title ahead of Barbados (39.18) and China (39.22).
Britain’s Daniel Talbot had been battling with Baker on the third leg, but Ojie Edoburun set off too early, while Canada also failed to get the baton around.
“I thought we ran really well in the first round and in the final, until the last changeover,” said Talbot. “It’s important that we learn from things like this and come together even stronger as a team. Yeah we made a mistake, but we’ll be there for each other and we’ll get it right at London 2017.”
Edoburun said: “It’s hard to digest right now, but it’s just about learning from my mistake and learning from being in this environment.”
Jamaica had missed out on the final as third leg runner Jevaughn Minzie failed to grab the baton from Kemar Bailey-Cole.
Like the 4x100m men, GB’s other two teams – the men’s and women’s 4x400m – also made it through to the final, reports Stuart Weir.
The GB women’s 4x400m qualified for Sunday’s final with second place in heat two in 3:33.00 behind Nigeria in 3:31.97. Eilidh Doyle ran a solid opening leg and was unfazed by Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller going off like the proverbial express train and handing over in 50.25.
Emily Diamond got the team into second place behind Bahamas, a position which Anyika Onuora held. On the final leg, Kelly Massey overtook Bahamas’ Rashan Brown to put Britain into the lead only to lose it to Nigeria’s Margaret Bamgbose.
Doyle, after leading the team out, said: “I found that tough. I felt like I went off pretty hard and probably went off at the same rate I would in the middle of the season forgetting that it’s April, but I’m probably not in the same shape as I would be then. I felt I died a little bit coming down the home straight and I was just trying to get the baton to Emily as soon as I could.”
The men’s 4x400m team also placed second, finishing behind France in their heat in 3:05.19. Having run a great first leg to put the team into the lead from the start, Matthew Hudson-Smith said: “I enjoyed that, it was the first race of the season. I wanted to try a few things and they didn’t all go how I wanted them to, but it was good for the first run of the season and it was just about executing tonight.”
The GB athletes wore black ribbons in memory of 2008 Olympic high jump silver medallist Germaine Mason, who died after a motorcycle crash in Jamaica on Thursday.