NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The inaugural IAAF World Relays opened to grand performance with a pair of world records while former Texas A&M sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh was a member of the winning United States women’s 4x100 relay squad.
Seven of the eight former Aggie sprinters were in action on the first day of the IAAF World Relays held in Thomas A. Robinson Stadium. Action continues on Sunday with coverage available on the web via www.Universalsports.com at 4:30 p.m. and on NBC Universal Sports starting at 5:30 p.m.
Tarmoh’s third leg carry was a decisive factor in the Americans holding an edge over the Jamaicans going into the final baton exchange. The United States won the race in a world-leading 41.88 with Jamaica, who had a miscue on the last exchange, placing second in 42.28 and Trinidad & Tobago taking third in 42.66. In the prelims the U.S. and Jamaica both clocked 42.29 in winning separate heats.
Nigeria finished fourth in the women’s 4x100 final as Dominique Duncan handled third leg duties in the prelim (42.77) and final (42.67).
The United States men’s 4x200 reached the final where Ameer Webb was inserted on the third leg in place of Isiah Young from the prelim race while Curtis Mitchell ran the second leg in the prelim and final. A troublesome exchange of the baton between Mitchell and Webb proved costly as the U.S. was disqualified, eliminating their third-place finish in 1:20.61. The Americans won their prelim heat in 1:21.35.
Jamaica captured gold in the 4x200 with a world record of 1:18.63 to break the 20-year-old record of 1:18.68 set by the Santa Monica Track Club. St. Kitts & Nevis finished second in 1:20.51 while France claimed third in 1:20.66.
Tabarie Henry ran the first leg in the 4x200 for the U.S. Virgin Islands, who placed sixth in their prelim heat with a 1:25.01 and didn’t advance to the final.
In the prelims of the women’s 4x400 Jessica Beard ran 50.44 on the anchor leg as the United States won their heat in 3:23.84 over Jamaica’s 3:24.95 as the runner-up and Great Britain in third place with a 3:27.30.
The Bahamas posted the top qualifying time in the men’s 4x400 prelims of 3:00.30 with Demetrius Pinder running the opening leg in 45.50. Bahamas defeated Trinidad & Tobago (3:01.06), Cuba (3:02.43) and Belgium (3:02.79) in the third heat of the prelims. Great Britain won the first heat in 3:00.74 while the United States claimed the second heat in 3:01.09.
Kenya women broke their own world record in the 4x1500 with a 16:33.58 while the United States also bettered the previous world record (17:05.72) in the process of setting an American record of 16:55.33.