By Christian Radnedge
LONDON (Reuters) - The United States ate up the track to run a world leading time in the women's 4x100 meters relay heats at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday.
The Olympic champions, featuring Aaliyah Brown, Allyson Felix, Morolake Akinosun and Ariana Washington, won the opening heat in a time of 41.84 seconds, challenged only by the British quartet who came second in 41.93.
The third automatic qualifiers were Switzerland, who ran a national record time of 42.50, pointing to a high caliber final later on Saturday.
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Jamaica, the defending champions, were missing seven-times world championship gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, but still qualified second fastest in the final heat ahead of Brazil. Germany won the second heat in 42.34.
Completing the final lineup were the Netherlands, featuring twice 200m champion Dafne Schippers, and 2015 bronze medalists Trinidad and Tobago.
(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Toby Davis)