The United States capped an inspired world indoor championship performance in Poland on Sunday by finishing off the weekend with a dominating world record performance by the men’s 4×400 relay team.
The team — comprised of Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler III, and Calvin Smith Jr. — crossed the finish line with a time of 3:02.13. The time was more than half a second faster than the previous indoor world record, which was set by a United States team in 1999.
The race — which produced the only world record of the championship meet — saw the United States team beat out Britain (silver) and Jamaica (bronze).
The race allowed Clemons to win his second medal for the United States, with the first being a bronze in the individual 400. Clemons told the Associated Press that the team camaraderie was what allowed it to set the new world record.
“The combination of these guys is amazing. They brought it out of me.”
While the world record performance was the highlight of the weekend for the United States, it certainly wasn’t the only success. In fact, the United States left the championship meet with a total of 12 medals — including eight golds. The runner-up, Russia, finished with five medals, three which were gold.
The women’s 4X400 team for the United States also had a successful weekend. Though the team didn’t walk away with a world record, it did win the gold for the event.
One of the other major victories for the United States on Sunday came when Chanelle Price broke out to an early lead in the 800 and was able to uphold it to bring home the gold.
Given the performance of the United States’ team in the world championships two years — during which the team won a total of 18 medals and 10 gold — few expected an as dominant performance. Still, the United States team came close to equaling its gold medal count this year. Something that Clemons says is indicative of the quality of athletes in the United States.
“We never lose runners, lose people. We just keep reloading.”
Other athletes from the United States who had gold medal-winning performances include Omo Osagae (60 meters), Ryan Whiting (shotput), and Ashton Eaton (heptathlon). In the case of Osaghae, she narrowly won her gold for the United States after she leaned-in at the finish line to beat silver medalist Pascal Marinot-Lagarde by.01 seconds.
Image via iaaf.org