USA shaved 0.06 off the world record* in the men’s distance medley with a time of 9:15.50 on the second day of the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015.
The team of Kyle Merber (1200m), Brycen Spratling (400m), Brandon Johnson (800m) and Ben Blankenship (1600m) improved on the nine-year-old record of Kenya, thanks in part to an outstanding last leg by Blankenship in 3:51.24.
Blankenshipp took over in front but was over a second-and-a half outside the world record pace. He then saw Kenyan’s experienced Timothy Cheriuyot got pass him 200 metres into the first lap and quickly establish a 20-metre lead, but the American held his never and started to reel in his rival.
By the bell, Blankenship was on the shoulder of Cheriuyot and then passed him on the final bend before visibly gritting his teeth down the home straight, well-aware that Cheriuyot was going through the pain barrier as well as both men could see what was happening on the big stadium screen in front of them.
Blankenship, racing in his first major international competition, had enough in the tank though to go into new territory for the event as Cheriuyot brought Kenyan home in second place, clocking 9:17.20.
Australia took the bronze medals in 9:21.62.
The victorious USA team will receive a world record bonus of US$50,000.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF