Katie Mackey, Heather Kampf

Track runners collide at World Relays (video)

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The 4x1500m relay is not run very often. That lack of experience was apparent in the first handoff at the World Relays on Saturday.

U.S. runner Katie Mackey was looking back to receive the baton from Heather Kampf. Before Mackey could turn to run with the baton, she smashed into Australian opening-leg runner Zoe Buckman.

Buckman had just handed off to Australia’s second leg but hadn’t yet gotten out of the inside running lanes.

Kenya ended up winning the 4x1500m by 22 seconds and in a world record. The U.S. recovered for second place, also beating the previous world record time.

The more regularly run sprint relays have been known to include collisions, such as the U.S. and Great Britain at the 2011 World Championships, but common sense says the longer the distance and the slower the pace (and, at the World Relays, fewer nations) would make it easier to avoid trouble.

Not on Saturday, though.

Videos: U.S. women sweep on final day at World Relays

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20:  (L-R) Gold medalists Diana Taurasi #12 and Sue Bird #6 of United States celebrate during the medal ceremony after the Women's Basketball competition on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men's 100 meter final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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