U.S. Wins Mixed Relay, Breaking Record At World Championships
The United States’ national track team is off to a successful run ahead of the upcoming 2024 Olympics. At the World Championships that took place over the weekend in Budapest, the mixed relay team took home first place after the racer ahead fell.
During the 4×400 meter relay, the last leg was a nail-biter to the finish. Netherlands runner Femke Bol was assumed to take home the gold until she fell and dropped her baton five meters from the line, leaving U.S. anchor Alexis Holmes to a straight victory.
According to Reuters, Holmes’ dash to complete the relay also resulted in a new world record for the team of 3:08:80, beating the previous record-holder, the 2019 team. Coming in at second and third place were Britain and Czech Republic’s team, respectively, who set national records at the event.
The U.S. team, which was not expecting the gold after the Dutch held a steady winning pace until the final moments, was elated at its first-place finish and landing the world record.
“It is amazing,” said Holmes. “It was definitely tough to run against Femke Bol. She is an amazing athlete but I believed I could run it down because I felt really strong and determined to win and I felt good.”
Holmes was not expected to get past Bol, who is currently the indoor 400m world record holder. However, her insistence on staying on Bol’s toes afforded her the ability to whip past the fallen runner to cross the finish line.
I don’t know what happened, I cramped towards the finish line, I was pushing, pushing, pushing,” Bol said, according to Reuters. “I was disappointed that my body did not have it in to finish the race strongly. I’m sorry for my team, I should have finished it off and it sucks big time.”
This win also established the U.S. as a formidable opponent in the newly added race, having only gotten bronze for the event on the world stage, specifically the Tokyo games, in the past.