Russia women dominate with a world leading performance
Led by the newly minted European 400m champion Tatyana Firova, the Russian quartet of Anastasiya Kapachinskaya, Antonina Krivoshapka, Kseniya Ustalova and Firova captured a gun-to-tape win in a world leading performance of 3:21.26 which is the fastest time since the 1990 European championships in Split.
After taking a clean sweep of medals in the individual event earlier in the week, thanks to Firova (gold), Ustalova (silver) and Krivoshapka (bronze), Russia made sure there was no upset in the relay final.
It was the only non-individual medallist Kapachinskaya who started quick in the first leg giving her squad an early lead ahead of Romania’s hurdles specialist Angela Morosanu and Germany’s Janin Lindenberg.
Krivoshapka extended the Russian advantage with a superb second leg to build a 30m margin on Germany and Great Britain, the latter represented by the 800m runner Marilyn Okoro, who was looking for making amends after her no qualification for the 800m final. The halfway point was covered by Russia in 1:41.11.
However, Ustalova’s third leg was not particularly fast as she was timed at 50.72 while Britain’s Lee McConnell put a lot of pressure on Germany’s Esther Cremer and both teams reduced their gaps with Russia.