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Team USATF finishes on top of the world with five medal night in Yokohama


YOKOHAMA, Japan — In front of 20,134 fans at Yokohama Stadium, Team USATF won five medals, including three golds, to wrap up the final day of competition at the IAAF World Relays. Team USATF finished at the top of the points table with 54, twice as many points as the next best team, Jamaica (27).

The first gold of the evening came in one of the newer events. Moving up from a silver at Nassau in 2017, Team USATF’s My’Lik Kerley (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) eased to a 46.3 leadoff leg in the mixed 4x400m to hand off even with Brazil. Joanna Atkins (Clermont, Florida) turned on the burners at 200 meters, pushing ahead to the lead and recording a 51.6 split before handing off to teammate Jasmine Blocker (New Orleans, Louisiana.) Blocker extended the lead by a couple tenths on the strength of a 52.3 lap and Dontavius Wright (Grayson, Georgia) ran a steady and effective anchor of 46.3 and crossed the line first in 3:16.43.

Just as they did in the heats, Team USATF led from the gun in the men’s 4x200m. Christopher Belcher (Bayshore, New York) and Bryce Robinson (Austin, Texas) extended the exchange zone but made a safe first pass, and then Vernon Norwood (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) blew the race open on third leg with a swift carry. Norwood and Remontay McClain (Azusa, California) executed a picture-perfect final handoff and McClain raced to gold in 1:20.12, the first-ever win in the event for the U.S. men.

Earlier in the program, Team USATF dominated the first heat as Belcher put the pressure on the field early and handed off to Robinson with slight lead. Robinson ran a controlled bend and passed to Vernon Norwood just behind the French team. Norwood closed the gap and gave the U.S. a lead not to be relinquished as McClain brought the baton home in 1:19.73. It was the fastest time ever run at the World Relays by the American squad and the fastest in the heats overall.

A sizzling leadoff leg in the women’s 4x100m by Mikiah Brisco (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) saw the to an early lead. Ashley Henderson (San Diego, California) kept that margin down the backstretch and had a safe exchange with Dezerea Bryant (Clermont, Florida). Aleia Hobbs (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) held off Jamaica’s Jonielle Smith to capture gold in 43.27. Jamaica ran a 43.29 for silver, Germany’s 43.68 earned them bronze.

Jaide Stepter (Redondo Beach, California) got out well in the women’s 4x400m, making up the stagger on the backstretch and splitting 52.5 before handing off to Shakima Wimbley (Clermont, Florida.) Wimbley ran a smooth lap, extending the lead to 10 meters with a 50.8 carry. Jessica Beard (Ocoee, Florida) struggled at the end of her 53.3 effort and Courtney Okolo (Austin, Texas) got the baton on the inside in fourth place behind Poland, Jamaica and Italy. Okolo pushed hard in the final 100, but fell short, finishing with silver in 3:27.65 after a 51.1 anchor. Poland won gold in 3:27.49.

Mike Rodgers (Round Rock, Texas) rocketed out in the first leg of the men’s 4x100m and made a solid pass to Justin Gatlin (Clermont, Florida), but a wobbly handoff with Isiah Young (Clermont, Florida) put the Americans on defense. Noah Lyles (Clermont, Florida) made up some ground on the anchor, but fell just short of Brazil, crossing in 38.07 for silver.

The U.S. Men’s 4x4 finished second but was later disqualified for a lane violation. A short time later, Team USATF’s women’s 4x200 was disqualified for a zone violation.

Click here for full results.


GOLD (5)

2x2x400: Ce’Aira Brown, Donavan Brazier

Shuttle Hurdle Relay: Christina Clemons, Freddie Crittenden, Sharika Nelvis, Devon Allen

Mixed 4x4 My’Lik Kerley, Joanna Atkins, Jasmine Blocker, Dontavius Wright

Men’s 4x200 Chris Belcher, Bryce Robinson, Vernon Norwood, Remontay McClain

Women’s 4x100: Mikiah Brisco, Ashley Henderson, Dezerea Bryant, Aleia Hobbs


Women’s 4x400: Jaide Stepter, Shakima Wimbley, Jessica Beard, Courtney Okolo

Men’s 4x100: Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Isiah Young, Noah Lyles

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