U.S. men's 4x400 reinstated to gold

Updated: March 11, 2012, 2:47 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ISTANBUL -- The men's 4x400-meter relay team from the United States was reinstated to gold after winning its appeal of a disqualification Sunday at the world indoor championships.

The Americans crossed the line first but were disqualified for "exchanging positions before take-over."

The U.S. appealed and was awarded gold.

The decision dropped Britain back to silver and Trinidad and Tobago to bronze. Russia, which had been moved up to bronze, finished fourth.

[+] EnlargeMenís 4x400 Metres Final
Ian Walton/Getty ImagesThe United States finished first in the men's 4x400-meter relay and regained their gold medal after their disqualification was overturned by an appeal.

The reinstatement capped off a banner day for the United States.

American Bernard Lagat won his third 3,000 world indoor title Sunday, breaking free with 100 meters to go to beat Kenyan rivals Augustine Choge and Edwin Soi. The United States also got gold Sunday from Will Claye in the triple jump, Brittney Reese in the long jump and Aries Merritt in the 60 hurdles.

The U.S. finished the world indoor championships with 10 golds.No other country had more than two.

"We psyched up everybody, including myself," said Lagat, the U.S. captain. "We came together as a team."

Mo Farah was the favorite in the 3,000, but he failed to get on the medal stand and finished fourth. The Briton beat Lagat in a stirring 5,000 finish at the world outdoor championships in August.

At 37, Lagat still has the finishing kick of runners half his age.

"It is not dying away," he said.

Lagat knew the Kenyans would set the pace, so he didn't fall back and risk being surprised by a sudden breakaway. So when the final surge came, he was prepared.

Lagat said he thought to himself: "I am going to stay here because those guys are strong."

In the women's long jump, Reese set a championship record of 23 feet, 8 3/4 inches on her last attempt to push teammate Janay Deloach to silver at 22-10 3/4. Shara Proctor took bronze with a British record of 22-7 1/4.

"I decided to get my confidence up and get the crowd involved," Reese said of her final attempt. "My coach told me to go and get it, and I went out and got it. I had to go out and bust the big one."

In the women's pole vault, Yelena Isinbayeva ended a three-year gold medal drought by winning the pole vault with just two jumps.

The Russian set a world record of 16 feet, 5 1/4 inches meters last month and failed to improve that after clinching gold. It was Isinbayeva's fourth indoor world title but her first in four years. Over the same period, she also lost her world outdoor title.

"I was waiting for this victory like a mother is waiting to give birth to her baby," Isinbayeva said. "The last three years showed me how important it is for me to win."

She won the title at the Atakoy Arena with a height of 15-9, which she cleared with the ease she has so often shown during her career.

While others struggled, she covered herself in towels and waited.

"I am not really surprised that I only needed two attempts, two jumps to win," Isinbayeva said after winning Russia's only gold of the championships.

She now goes for the defense of the most precious medal of all -- the Olympic gold. She will be seeking her third straight title in London, an unprecedented feat. No woman in track and field has managed to win three individual Olympic golds in three successive games.

While Isinbayeva regained her winning form, Meseret Defar felt what it's like to lose.

The Ethiopian fell short of becoming the first woman to win five straight world indoor titles when Hellen Obiri of Kenya came from behind on the final lap to win the women's 3,000 meters.

Defar took the lead halfway through the race and seemed in control until Obiri appeared out of the blue on the outside. The Ethiopian champion tried for one final kick to stay with Obiri, but she fell even farther back on the final straight.

"I didn't expect it. I am confused," Defar said.

Liu Xiang was another favorite who lost during the final session of the three-day event, coming up short in the 60 hurdles against Merritt, who added to a banner championships for the United States.

In the absence of defending champion Dayron Robles, Liu was supposed to win easily, but was left chasing Merritt all the way.

In the most exciting finish of the championships in the women's 4x400 relay, 400 champion Sanya Richards-Ross came back from fourth place with 200 meters to go and missed gold by just .01 seconds when Britain's Perri Shakes-Drayton threw herself across the line first.

It was almost as close in the women's 60 meters when Veronica Campbell-Brown came back in the final 10 meters to give Jamaica its first sprinting gold.

With a world-leading 7.01 seconds, Campbell-Brown beat Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast by .03.

In the women's 800, 2008 Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo put years of physical problems behind her. The Kenyan finished in a world-leading 1 minute, 58.83 seconds to beat Nataliya Lupo of Ukraine and Erica Moore of the United States.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE