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story.lead_photo.caption Noah Lyles (left) of the United States crosses the finish line to win the men’s 400-meter relay final ahead of Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake of Great Britain during the World Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

DOHA, Qatar -- The United States ended a 12-year wait for a gold medal in the men's 400-meter relay at the world track and field championships Saturday, but the American women had to settle for bronze behind Jamaica.

The all-star U.S. men's squad started with individual 100-meter world champion Christian Coleman and ended with 200 champ Noah Lyles, with Justin Gatlin and Michael Rodgers in between.

Coleman immediately put the U.S. in the lead with an explosive first leg and victory didn't seem in doubt after that, despite a slow final baton handover.

Gatlin said he was thankful to his teammates after winning the first major-championship relay gold, 15 years after his Olympic debut. The time of 37.10 seconds was the third-fastest in history, beaten only by the Jamaican teams of 2011 featuring Usain Bolt.

Britain, the champion in 2017, took silver ahead of Japan.

Jamaica didn't even reach the men's 400 final but won the women's race as Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce earned her ninth career world championship gold medal. That's the highest of any woman in history except for Allyson Felix, who has 12 and could win a 13th in the 1,600 today.

Running second with her hair yellow and pink, Fraser-Pryce chased down the British and U.S. teams before Jonielle Smith's third leg left Jamaica firmly in control.

Jamaica won in 41.44 seconds, 0.41 ahead of second-place Britain. The British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith won her third medal of the championships after individual 200-meter gold and 100-meter silver, and her third career world medal in the 400. The U.S. women's team couldn't defend its 2017 title as it took the bronze.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands became the first woman to win both the 1,500 meters and 10,000 at a single world championships, despite admitting her preparations were disrupted by the doping ban for Alberto Salazar, the head coach of the camp where she trains.

Hassan was unbeatable over the last lap as she won in a championship-record pace of 3 minutes 51.95 seconds, just short of the world record. The 2017 world champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya took a distant silver, with bronze for Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia.

Hassan is part of the Nike Oregon Project team, which was headed by Salazar until he was banned for doping offenses Tuesday. Hassan has not been accused of any wrongdoing and is now working with a replacement coach.

Another runner from the camp, Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, took bronze in the 5,000 the same evening. Klosterhalfen was shoulder-to-shoulder with three Kenyans on the final lap before Hellen Obiri pulled clear to win gold from Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi.

More history was made in the men's shot put, as four athletes beat the old championship record in a contest decided by a single centimeter.

Joe Kovacs took gold for the U.S. with 22.91 meters on his final throw, against the 22.90 thrown by silver medalist and fellow American Ryan Crouser and New Zealand's bronze medalist Tomas Walsh.

Yulimar Rojas repeated as world women's triple jump champion for Venezuela, leaping 15.37 meters in the second round. None of her opponents could come close as Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts managed silver with 14.92, while 2016 Olympic gold medalist Caterine Ibarguen took the bronze for Colombia with 14.73.

EMPTY SEATS

Qatari organizers have acknowledged giving away free tickets in an attempt to fill the track stadium.

The acknowledgment came on the ninth day of the world track and field championships in Doha where empty seats in Khalifa Stadium, capacity 48,000, have been a blot on the IAAF showpiece.

The local organizing committee said it -- along with "partners and public institutions" -- distributed the tickets in a "marketing outreach to embassies, employees, schools and higher education."

Via an international PR company, the committee said some fans have been leaving the stadium after watching specific events and they have tried to find people to occupy those seats to "keep the stadium as full as possible."

A statement said organizers particularly wanted to give people the opportunity to see Mutaz Barshim of Qatar win high jump gold on Friday night and they claim the crowd exceeded 40,000.

The championships end tonight.

Sports on 10/06/2019

Print Headline: U.S. ends long wait for men's 400 relay world gold

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