U.S. Junior Women’s 4x400 Relay to Participate in Runoff Tomorrow
BARCELONA, Spain – The U.S. women’s 4x400 relay team will participate in a runoff tomorrow in an attempt to gain a valid qualifying time for the finals of the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Initially running a world-junior leading time of 3:34.12 to win heat one of the semifinals, Team USA was later disqualified as a result of being outside the exchange zone on the race’s first exchange (IAAF rule 170.7). Romania, running in the same heat, was also disqualified for being outside of the zone. Both teams filed a protest because the track officials placed the second-leg runners in the wrong position, near the end of the exchange zone.
When the batons were passed, it was clear via video evidence that both teams had passed outside the zone, so the protest was denied. However, the U.S. appealed that decision and it went to the championship’s Jury of Appeals.
The jury upheld the stand of the U.S. and decided to offer the American and Romanian squads an opportunity for a rerun. Romania rejected the offer, but the U.S. will go ahead with the race that is slated for 11:00 a.m., local time.
According to the IAAF, the jury “(took into) consideration the special circumstances – young inexperienced athletes, different judges, different guidance, etc.” in their deliberations on whether the appeal on protocol was warranted.
The U.S. must run a time of 3:39.44 or faster to earn the final qualifying spot in the final. No other teams will be impacted. Should the U.S. run the time necessary, they will be added as the third time qualifier and ninth overall team.
Team USA must also use the exact running order used this evening – Kendall Baisden, Robin Reynolds, Kiara Porter, and Olivia Ekponé. Baised and Porter participated in her first competition of these championships as they were on the squad list as members of the relay pool. Reynolds competed in the triple jump earlier in the championships while Ekpone claimed silver in the 200 meters on Friday.
Amid the entire hubbub, the U.S. won three medals on Saturday evening and captured gold in both 4x100 relays. A complete recap of this evening’s session for Team USA will be available in the coming hours.