Vernon Norwood receives the baton in the 4x400m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 (© Getty Images)
The men’s 4x400m team closed the most successful World Indoor Championships ever for the United States with a memorable performance in front of another sell-out crowd at the Oregon Convention Center.
National indoor champion Vernon Norwood anchored the host squad to a 3:02.45 win, the third-fastest time ever indoors, just 0.33 seconds shy of the world record they set two years ago in Sopot. Bahamas (3:04.75) and Trinidad and Tobago (3:05.51) produced national indoor records to complete the medallists.
Kyle Clemons, the 2014 world indoor 400m bronze medallist, took the US squad to the front with a 46.47 first leg, closely followed by Olympic champions The Bahamas, thanks to superb run by Michael Mathieu.
Calvin Smith, who anchored the team to a world record of 3:02.13 in 2014, kept the US team in the lead with 45.66 leg to hit the half way mark in 1:32.13. The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Belgium, featuring the three Borlee brothers, were right on their heels.
Chris Giesting, the fastest leg runner in the heats, produced another superb run (45.34) to build up an unsurmountable lead as Norwood took the baton with the clock at 2:17.47.
Determined to erase the disqualification in the individual 400m, Norwood clocked an impressive 44.98 anchor leg to the delight of the packed stadium. The host nation finished with a record 23 medals, including 13 gold.
As the teams started the penultimate leg, Robin Vanderbemdem dropped the baton and left Belgium out of contention for the medals.
After five consecutive individual world indoor medals, including gold in 2010, anchor runner Chris Brown held off Trinidad and Tobago’s Deon Lendore to give The Bahamas its first world indoor medal in the relays.
Jamaica, the 2014 bronze medallists, finished fourth with a season’s best of 3:06.02.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF