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Aug. 31, 2003

Led by a pair of former Gamecock standouts, Team USA claimed the women’s 4×400 relay crown at the 2003 IAAF World Championships in Paris. Lisa Barber ran the opening leg before passing the baton to Demetria Washington as the duo paced the U.S. time of 3:22.63 for the event title.

“I was lead-off, and I just wanted to get my team out there,” said Barber. “I tried to get a lead, and I ran the best I could so we could go out there and get a gold. I knew this was my only chance, so I went out there with a strong heart, and I gave it my all. It was a great race, great competition.

The race was full of suspense as Barber (Columbia, S.C.) finished the first leg a close second place to Russia’s Olesya Zykina. Washingtion (Columbia, S.C.), Barber’s training partner and 2001 World University Games gold medalist got the baton and moved quickly to the lead. She was overtaken in the final stretch by 400m hurdles world record holder Yuliya Pechonkina of Russia. USA team captain and 1993 world 400m champion Jearl Miles-Clark (Knoxville, Tenn.) brought the U.S. nearly even with Russia at the end of the third leg.


Demetria Washington, a six-time NCAA Champion asa Gamecock, ran the second leg as Team USA won the 4×400 world title.



“I wanted to get out there and get in good position so I get in good position for Jearl so she could do what she had to do and we could bring it home for the victory like we did,” said Washington.

In Saturday’s 4×400 heats, Team USA posted the best time of the day with a mark of 3:24.57 as Barber ran the lead leg.

Barber was a 15-time All-American at USC and won two NCAA titles. Washington was honored a Carolina-record 22 times as All-American and was a six-time NCAA Champion.

Complete event results from the IAAF World Championships can be found at The site is also linked through the men’s and women’s track pages.