A United States quartet led by Christian Coleman blazed to the 4×100 metres relay title at the world athletics championships on Saturday, clocking the second fastest time ever at 37.10 seconds to end a 12-year gold medal drought.
Coleman, world 100m champion, put the Americans ahead with a stunning start and 200m gold medallist Noah Lyles completed the job, crossing the line with his arms raised triumphantly in the air as his team mates celebrated wrapped in American flags.
Defending champions Britain took the silver in 37.36 seconds, a European record, as Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake failed to catch Lyles on the final straight. Japan won bronze with a time of 37.43 seconds, an Asian record.
Joining Coleman and Lyles, the two rising stars on the global sprint scene, were veterans in Justin Gatlin, twice world champion, and 34-year-old Mike Rodgers, who had never before stood atop a world championship or Olympic podium.
In the corresponding women’s race, Jamaica stormed to gold, beating Britain in a battle that featured 100 and 200m winners Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Dina Asher-Smith.
Since 2005 the United States and Jamaica have dominated the event at the worlds, with the Americans topping the podium four times, including two years ago in London, and the Jamaicans three. In Doha, though, the fight for gold came down to Jamaica and Britain, the Caribbean nation returning to the top of the podium with a time of 41.44 seconds. Britain took silver in 41.85 and the US bronze in 42.10.
It was the second gold of the championships for the evergreen Fraser-Pryce, the 32-year-old bringing her haul from six worlds to nine gold medals and two silvers.
Lelisa Desisa ended an 18-year wait for Ethiopia when he triumphed in a sprint finish against compatriot Mosinet Geremew to win a midnight marathon.
Desisa, last year’s New York marathon winner and world silver medallist in Moscow six years ago, became the first Ethiopian to win the title since Gezahegne Abera in 2001.
Geremew, four seconds behind, took silver and Amos Kipruto of Kenya the bronze.
American Joe Kovacs produced the third best shot put of all-time, 22.91 metres, to snatch gold from New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh with his final throw.
Holder Walsh had looked poised for a successful defence of his crown when he opened the competition with 22.90 but he was forced to settle for bronze when he was beaten by a second American at the death.
Olympic champion Ryan Crouser also saved his best for last, matching Walsh’s effort of 22.90 but getting the silver ahead of the New Zealander who had only one legal throw in the competition. Hellen Obiri of Kenya displayed her dominance of the 5,000 metres by winning a second consecutive world title in a tight race. The 29-year-old won in 14 minutes and 26.72 seconds