The victorious US men's 4x400m team at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (© Getty Images)
The US quartet smashed the 15-year-old men’s 4x400m relay world indoor record*, scorching to victory in 3:02.13.
Led off by the individual 2014 world indoor 400m bronze medallist Kyle Clemons, who settled behind Britain’s two-time world indoor 4x400m runner-up Conrad Williams, the US squad then utilised individual 400m fourth-place finisher David Verburg who moved them into the lead.
Clocking a 45.62 split, Verburg passed the baton on to Kind Butler who recorded 45.41 on the third leg before 2012 world indoor 4x400m champion Calvin Smith brought the US team home with an impressive 45.12 final effort.
Improving the previous world indoor record by seven tenths of a second, the USA’s gold medal-winning performance captured the nation’s ninth title in the 12 editions of this event in the championship. For breaking the world indoor record, the US team will receive a USD $50,000 world record bonus from the IAAF.
It should be noted that a US team ran 3:01.96 in 2006 but it could not be ratified as a world indoor record as the full anti-doping procedure required for ratifying records was not carried out at that meeting.
With silver, Great Britain registered a 3:03.49 season’s best in a tight battle which saw the Jamaican team settle for the bronze medal with a 3:03.69 national indoor record.
Poland finished fourth in a 3:04.39 season’s best while Russia placed fifth in 3:07.12 and Ukraine in sixth with 3:08.79.
Nicola Bamford for the IAAF
*subject to the usual ratification procedures