Athletics-U.S. storm to another crushing 4x400m men’s relay gold

By Mitch Phillips

EUGENE, Ore. (Reuters) -The United States maintained their stranglehold of the men’s 4×400 metres relay on Sunday as they won World Championships gold in utterly dominant style in front of a delirious home crowd.

The United States have now won eight of the past nine world titles and eight of the past 10 Olympic golds and Sunday’s crown never looked in doubt.

Elija Godwin and Bryce Deadmon were retained from the semi-finals with newly-crowned individual gold medallist Michael Norman and Champion Allison, fourth in the final, drafted in and each man extended the lead as they came home in two minutes, 56.17 seconds.

In a race of their own 20m back, Jamaica took a second successive silver with Belgium, anchored by Kevin Borlee in his seventh World Championships, collecting bronze again after finishing third in Doha.

Japan set an Asian record to finish fourth as they went under three minutes for the first time with 2:59.51.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Norman, who, with Deadmon, was also part of the Olympic gold-medal winning team last year.

“Elija ran an amazing first leg, really set the right tone, I just had to make sure I got it to Bryce so we could keep it up. I’m really happy with the medal and happy with the team and I really felt the energy today.”

Deadmon also praised the fans, who produced great noise on the final night of action to live up to Eugene’s “Tracktown USA” reputation.

“In Tokyo they had a virtual audio but to hear this crowd here, it was like crazy and definitely a help,” he said.

“All our transitions went smooth. Pace was good, time was good, I mean, it felt like we came out to win.”

Jamaica’s Jevaughn Powell said: “It is always a tough task running with the Team USA but we are trying to challenge them as much as possible and I think we did that.

“It is tremendous to be a part of this team. I’ve been watching these guys since the high school and it’s an amazing feeling to bring Jamaica on the podium again.”

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Peter Rutherford)