Kenya won silver in the women’s distance medley behind the Americans who smashed the world record with a time of 10:36.50 on saturday at the World Relays in Bahamas.
The Kenyan team of Virginia Nyambura(1200m), Joyce Sakari(400m),Sylvia Chesebe(800m) and Selah Jepleting(1600m)set an African record of 10:43.35 while Poland broke the European record with 10:45.32 in third place.
The American quartet of Treniere Moser (1200m), Sanya Richards-Ross (400m), Ajee Wilson (800m) and Shannon Rowbury (1600m) took more than six seconds off the previous mark of 10:42.57 that was set indoors earlier this year by a different US team.
The first leg looked to be more tactical in the beginning with none of the athletes willing to lead as the first lap was covered in just 69 seconds.
But the pace had picked up by the end of the 1200m section, with France leading the USA, 3:18.11 to 3:18.38.
The slow first lap meant the teams were a few seconds outside world record pace, but a 50.12 clocking from Richards-Ross on the 400m leg put them back on course.
Wilson then ran a solo 2:00.08 for the 800m leg and Rowbury then increased their lead, which was already substantial, to bring the baton home in 10:36.50, covering the final four laps in 4:27.92.
Kenya men’s 4x400m were locked out of the final as they finished fourth in a tough heat two behind the winners America, Jamaica and Bostwana in that order.
Nigeria win 4x200m women’s gold
There may have been world records and shock defeats in other events, but the women’s 4x200m was the most dramatic final on the first day of the World Relays.
Pre-event favourites USA looked to be on course to successfully defend their title from last year, after Shalonda Solomon, Kimberlyn Duncan and Jeneba Tarmoh had built up a comfortable lead on the first three legs. But then disaster struck on the final changeover between Tarmoh and Allyson Felix.
The Olympic 200m champion couldn’t quite get a solid grip on the baton as Tarmoh then bumped into her before Felix fell to the ground, their medal hopes dashed. There was drama too for the host nation as their second changeover was well outside of the zone.
The Bahamas carried on and eventually crossed the line in second place, but they were soon disqualified. It meant that Nigeria were the surprise victors, winning in 1:30.52 to take two seconds off the national record they set earlier this year.
World bronze medallist Blessing Okagbare led the team off before the baton was passed to Regina George, Dominique Duncan and Christy Udoh.
Jamaica finished a distant second in 1:31.73, one-and-a-half seconds slower than their time from last year, but one place higher on the podium. Germany were third in 1:33.61.