The Associated Press BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Poland set a world indoor record in the 4x400-meter relay on Sunday at the world indoor athletics championships, with the United States also inside the old mark.
The Polish team of Karol Zalewski, Rafal Omelko, Lukasz Krawczuk and Jakub Krzewina won in 3:01.77. That shaved 0.36 seconds off the previous record of 3:02.13, which was set by the United States in 2014.
“It is a big shock and surprise for us,” Omelko said. “We were targeting the European record but really did not expect a result like this and never dreamed about the world record.”
The U.S. team of Fred Kerley, Michael Cherry, Aldrich Bailey Jr. and Vernon Norwood finished 0.2 seconds behind Poland in 3:01.97, also beating the previous record by a different U.S. team.
“I think the last lap with Jakub Krzewina was the crucial one,” Omelko said. “He pushed it so hard and he is very, very strong this year. He helped us to win the most.”
It appeared as if the Americans would take victory — and the record — but Krzewina surged past Norwood in the final straight in Birmingham.
“The team did a great job, but no comment on my last leg,” Norwood said.
Belgium was third, with the three Borlee brothers and Jonathan Sacoor, setting a national record with 3:02.51.
The American women fared better, winning their 4x400 relay in a championship record of 3:23.85, but faced an anxious wait as the jury reviewed a series of appeals.
The team of Quanera Hayes, Georganne Moline and individual 400 gold and silver medalists, Courtney Okolo and Shakima Wimbley, dominated with the second-fastest indoor time ever — less than half a second off the world indoor record of 3:23.37.Speech