Brazil wins the mixed 4x400m at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (© Getty Images)
In the final event of the championships, it was not the hosts Kenya, or indeed the sprint superpowers Jamaica or South Africa who would have the last laugh, but outsiders Brazil who controlled the race from start to finish to win in 3:21.71.
They were given a strong start by Bruno Benedito da Silva, who powered through the opening lap and handed over to teammate Giovana Rosalia dos Santos with an advantage over Kenya, who also elected to run a boy on their opening leg.
However, both teams had girls on the second leg, and it was no surprise to see them being closed down by the charge of Jamaica’s Anthony Cox, who brought his team up to second at the halfway mark.
All seven teams elected to run girls on the third leg, at the end of which Brazil held a 15-metre advantage over Jamaica thanks to a strong run by Jessica Vitoria Moreira. Their anchor-man Alison Brendom dos Santos powered through the opening 200 metres, intent not to allow the chasing Antonio Watson of Jamaica a chance to close the advantage.
While the gap narrowed approaching the line, it wasn’t nearly enough for the Jamaicans, and Brazil crossed the line in 3:21.71 more than half a second clear of Jamaica (3:22.23).
South Africa’s 400m hurdles champion Sokwakhana Zazini unleashed a fantastic finish on the anchor leg to sweep past Kenya’s David Sanayek to take bronze, 3:24.45 to 3:24.92. Ukraine took fifth with 3:28.14.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF