Day 1 of the World Athletics Championships kicked off under cool and wet conditions at the Budapest Stadium as the athletes got to endure a one-hour delay due to a heavy downpour.
Nevertheless, things soon got into a full swing with the Mixed 4x400m, which was the second track event of the morning session after the 20km Race Walk. Heat 1 started with a surprise as reigning champions, the Dominican Republic Did Not Start (DNS). That didn’t spoil the action as the USA squad comprising Ryan Willie, Rosey Effiong, Justin Robinson and Alexia Holmes blazed to a World Leading (WL) time of 3:10.41, ahead of Great Britain who smashed their National Record to claim the second automatic spot in 3:11.19, while Belgium was third in 3:11.81.
In Heat 2, it was a close finish for the Top 3 automatic qualifiers as the Netherlands managed to hold on to take the win in 3:12.12s – Femke Bol ran the anchor leg in 50.98s – over France (3:12.25s) and the Czech Republic (3:12.52s).
Africa’s representatives in the event, Nigeria (3:14.05s) and Kenya (3:15.47s) finished 7th in their respective heats.
The fastest splits for both men and women went to USA’s Justin Robinson (43.86s) and Great Britain’s Lavai Nielsen (49.15s) respectively.