It was an electrifying atmosphere at Arena Birmingham, venue of the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships when the men’s 4x400m got underway, but it was the Polish team that got the last laugh on the final day of competition after finishing ahead of favourites, USA, to win the event with a World Lead (WL) and World Indoor Record of 3:01.77.
A win over USA would have been enough for Poland no doubt, but securing victory with a WIR would certainly be icing on the cake for the team which had the privilege of erasing the former WIR of 3:02.13 set by USA’s quartet of Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler III and Calvin Smith Jr. at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Sopot.
USA’s Fred Kerley who ran the first leg, put the Americans on the lead which was maintained by Michael Cherry and Aldrich Bailey Jr. However the gap between Poland and the USA lessened in the final leg, with the Europeans overtaking USA just before the finishing line.
USA finished with a Season’s Best (SB) of 3:01.97, as Kevin Borlee went past Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon to secure the Bronze medal for the Belgians with a National Indoor Record (NIR) of 3:02.51. Despite finishing in 4th place, it was also an NIR for Trinidad and Tobago in 3:02.52.
The women’s 4x400m was dominated by the Americans who gave no room for error, successfully defending their title with a Championship Record (CR) of 3:23.85. The Jamaicans followed hot on the heels of their American counterparts, crossing the line in 2nd place.
However, they were disqualified for a lane violation while Poland was upgraded to Silver, which they took with an NIR of 3:26.09, while Great Britain who were initially disqualified, were re-instated in the Bronze medal position, clocking an SB of 3:29.38. Ukraine was 4th in an SB of 3:31.32, and Italy 5th with an NIR of 3:31.55.