Team Nigeria won the women’s 4x200m gold in dramatic fashion while Kenya settled for silver in the women’s distance medley on the first day of the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015.
Pre-race favourites USA looked to be on course to successfully defend their title from 2014 with Shalonda Solomon, Kimberlyn Duncan and Jeneba Tarmoh edging the Americans to a comfortable lead up to the last leg.
But a mix-up in the final changeover between Tarmoh and Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix, meant that the Nigerians in second place were able to profit.
The Nigerian quartet of Blessing Okagbare, Regina George, Dominique Duncan and Christy Udoh shaved two seconds off their national/African record set earlier this year to take the gold medal in 1:30.52.
In second place, The Bahamas crossed the line in 1:30.66, but they were soon disqualified for completing their second changeover outside of the zone.
Jamaica then moved up to the second position on the podium in 1:31.73 with Germany moving up to third in 1:33.61 while China set an Asian record of 1:34.89 in fourth.
Kenya set an African record in the women’s distance medley relay with a time of 10:43.35 behind the USA, who broke the world record with a time of 10:36.50 in the process.
In third place, Poland set an European record of 10:45.32 to take the bronze medal.
Kenyan men also finished second in the men’s 4 x 800m relay Final, but lost the silver medal due to a disqualification for a rule violation during the change over.
Namibia, led by Tjipe Herunga, lowered their national record in the women’s 4x400m Relay by 23 seconds from 4:04.17 to 3:41.47 in Nassau.
Day One in a Tweet
— Yommie Omo (@Yommie_ATAF) May 3, 2015
Yomi is the founder of Africa's number one track and field website - AthleticsAfrica. A multi award-winning editor, journalism innovator, media trainer, sports and digital transformation consultant.