Australia third overall at IAAF World Relays
25 April 2017
ATHLETICS: Team Australia has finished an outstanding third overall at the IAAF World Relays, with top-five finishes by the women’s 4x400m relay, the men’s 4x800m relay and mixed 4x400m relay closing out an amazing two-day campaign for the green and gold in Nassau (BAH).
Competing in the round-of-eight after automatically progressing through the rounds yesterday, the women’s 4x400m relay were once again led out by the national champion Morgan Mitchell (Vic, split: 51.71), who handed the baton to Anneliese Rubie (NSW, split: 52.26).
Rubie was clipped on the bend but kept her feet to hand to Caitlin Sargent-Jones (Qld, split: 52.60), with the Rio 2016 Olympic finalist replacing 200m specialist Ella Nelson (NSW) in the final.
As America streaked away to a commanding lead, Olivia Tauro (NSW, split: 52.23) stepped up to battle and was impressive, closing the gap to those in the mix for medals before crossing 5th in a season best 3:28.80.
Team Australia missed the bronze medal by a mere 0.31 seconds, with second and 5th split by just 0.52 seconds.
The men’s 4x800m relay was led out by Joshua Ralph (NSW), with the national championship medallist clocking 1:48.31 for his two laps before Jordan Williamsz (Vic, split: 1:50.13) and James Gurr (NSW, split: 1:51.14) delivered.
Australian champion Luke Mathews (Vic) ran the last leg, holding off a gallant Mexico on the straight to cross the line in 7:20.10. The gold medal was won by America, with Kenya and Poland completing the top-three.
Rounding out the Australians in action were Mason Cohen (NSW), Alicia Keir (NSW), Ella Nelson (NSW) and Ralph in the mixed 4x400m relay, with the quartet clocking 3:23.14 to place fifth.
Team Australia finished third overall, on 24 points, as America won the Golden Baton with 60 points. Jamaica held on to the second spot with 39 points.