Canada, Germany deliver shock World Relays wins
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[April 25, 2017]
(Reuters) - Canada survived a
scary moment in the heats before going on to deliver a stunning win
ahead of the United States and Jamaica in the men's 4x200 meters at
the IAAF World Relays on Sunday.
Germany produced another surprise an hour later when they won the
women's 4x100 after U.S. leadoff runner Tianna Bartoletta slipped
Despite that disappointment, the Americans still ended the two-day
competition in Nassau with the most gold medals, five.
A strong leg by Olympic silver medalist Andre De Grasse and a solid
exchange with anchor Aaron Brown put the Canadians out front in the
men's 4x200 and Brown raced home for the year's best time of
Brown said the team had been determined to make up for a dropped
baton that knocked them out of Saturday's 4x100.
"It did not go well yesterday," said Brown. "But I'm glad we were
able to break the curse, get the monkey off our backs and show the
world what we are able to do in the relays."
The win, the first in the event by a non-U.S. or Jamaican team at
the World Relays, came after Canadian leadoff runner Gavin Smellie
was called for a false start in the heats.
“There was maybe a little twitch, but I didn’t move,” said Smellie.
“I was asking the officials to watch the video to see there was no
The officials agreed and the red card was withdrawn.
The United States, running without Justin Gatlin, were second in the
final in 1:19.88 and Jamaica took third (1:21.09).
In the women's 4x100, anchor Rebekka Haas held off Jamaica's
Sashalee Forbes to give Germany their first World Relays victory in
"We were just hoping to get a medal, but we got gold," said German
leadoff Alexandra Burghardt.
The United States won three of Sunday's other finals.
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Aaron Brown runs the anchor leg on the Canada 4 x 200 relay that won
in 1:19.42 during the IAAF World Relays at Thomas A. Robinson
Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy outdueled
Kenya's Ferguson Rotich in the men's 4x800 as the United States came
home in 7:13.16 with Kenya running 7:13.70.
Olympian LaShawn Merritt anchored the Americans to a narrow victory
over Botswana in the men's 4x400, the Americans winning in 3:02.13,
just 0.15 seconds ahead of Botswana.
There was no such drama in the women's 4x400 where the Americans
came home in 3:24.36, nearly four seconds ahead of Poland.
"These ladies blew that thing open for me," said American anchor
Host Bahamas finally struck victory in the finale of the night, the
mixed 4x400, in 3:14.42.
The top eight finishers in the 4x100 and 4x400 for men and women
automatically qualified for the IAAF world championships in London
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by
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