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USA dominates men’s 4x400m to win fourth relay gold in Budapest

Sometimes a country’s depth in a particular event doesn’t necessarily translate to a strong relay performance.

But other times – like for tonight’s men’s 4x400m final – it leads to pure domination.

The USA went in as the favourites and duly delivered their fourth relay gold of the championships, winning in a world-leading 2:57.31.

French athletics fans breathed a huge sigh of relief as their quartet came through to take silver – their first and only medal of the championships – in a national record of 2:58.45, holding off Great Britain (2:58.71).

As far as the race went, it was USA all the way. Quincy Hall, the 400m bronze medallist earlier in the week, gave them an early lead, handing over to Vernon Norwood, the fourth-place finisher in the 400m final.

By the half-way point, they already had a comfortable lead over the rest of the field, all of whom were battling for the front of the chasing pack.

Justin Robinson, who was part of the victorious mixed 4x400m quartet on the first day of the championships, maintained USA’s led on leg three. By this point, France had moved into second place from Great Britain with Jamaica and Botswana in close pursuit.

Rai Benjamin, the 400m hurdles bronze medallist, extended USA’s lead on the last leg and went on to cross the line first in 2:57.31, earning USA’s ninth gold medal in the men’s 4x400m from the past 10 editions of the championships.

France’s anchor leg runner Teo Andant ran a strong lap to maintain his country’s standing in the race, taking silver in 2:58.45.

At one point it looked as though Antonio Watson, the individual 400m champion, would move Jamaica into a medal position, but Britain’s Rio Mitcham held on to third place, crossing the line in 2:58.71. Watson brought Jamaica home fourth in 2:59.34.

India, who had challenged USA in the heats, didn’t quite feature in the medal hunt and placed sixth in 2:59.92.

“I felt like I wasn’t moving that fast but I’m happy these guys got me in a position to bring it home,” said Benjamin. “After the 400m hurdles, I wanted to come back and anchor this relay. It means a lot that the guys have faith in me and trust me. Quincy had an amazing start and the rest of the boys finished strong. I just had to finish the race. It was team work.”

🥇 United States 🇺🇸 USA 2:57.31 WL
🥈 France 🇫🇷 FRA 2:58.45 NR
🥉 Great Britain & NI 🇬🇧 GBR 2:58.71 SB
  Full results

Credit: World Athletics

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