(L-R) Phyllis Francis, Sydney Mclaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Wadeline Jonathas celebrate winning gold in the Women's 4x400-meter relay at the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 on Oct. 06, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
In the last two events of the 2019 IAAF track and field world championships, the women’s and men’s 4x400-meter squads delivered two final winning performances for Team USA.
Incorporating the country’s top 400-meter hurdlers into the mix paid off, as Phyllis Francis, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Wadeline Jonathas delivered the 13th gold medal and 28th medal overall for the U.S. and Fred Kerley, Michael Cherry, Wilbert London and Rai Benjamin closed things out with gold No. 14. Both squads delivered world-leading times.
The women were first up, and Francis kicked things off with a bang. Francis, who finished fifth in the 400-meter final, passed the baton to McLaughlin with the lead. The newly-crowed silver medalist in the 400-meter hurdles handed off to Muhammad, the woman who beat her and set a new world record in the process, with a massive lead.
When Jonathas, who was fourth in the 400-meter final, took over on the anchor leg the U.S. was already so far out in front that no one stood a chance. She crossed the finish line to give the team a time of 3:18.92. Out of 17 world championship races, the U.S. has now won nine times.
Poland took silver in 3:21.89 and Great Britain the bronze with a time of 3:23.02.
Next up were the men, led by new 400-meter bronze medalist Fred Kerley. He did his job to put the U.S. in the lead before handing off to Cherry. Despite a good chase by Jamaica, Cherry gained some ground and the U.S. still had the race well within hand when he passed off to London. Again, Jamaica drew close but couldn’t catch London. Benjamin, who won silver in the 400-meter hurdles earlier in the week, extended the 10-meter lead.
The U.S. won with a time of 2:56.69, the fastest time since the final at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, when the U.S. won gold in 2:55.39.
Jamaica took silver in 2:57.90, and Belgium won bronze in 2:58.78.
The 29 overall medals put the U.S. at the top of the world championships leaderboard, with Kenya and Jamaica coming in tied for second with 11 each. The U.S. won 30 medals at the 2017 world championships but four fewer gold medals.