#London2017 Coverage is brought to you by our kind sponsors – Puma, WIHCON – building homes in Jamaica for over 50 years and JN Bank – The Bank You Own
The world’s best athlete in the eyes of many, Usain Bolt, said a sad goodbye to the sporting arena, falling to the track in agony, after suffering an injury in the hunt of his final possible medal for his country.
Jamaica pulled out all the stops to give the country’s sprint legend the type farewell, the entire track and field fraternity craved. Omar McLeod was on the first leg and he ran brilliantly to pass to Julian Forte who kept hopes alive but Yohan Blake did not sparkle on the corner as would have been expected when in top shape. It gave Bolt a mountain to climb and the big man went for it until fate played a cruel hand with the injury.
So it is goodbye to Usain and as he walks away to begin another chapter in his star-studded life, we say “you certainly entertained us.” Great Britain, anchored by Jamaica College’s former 200m specialist and 4th placer in London, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake is the world champion title holder winning in a world leading 37.47, USA taking silver in 37.52 and Japan, the bronze also with their season best, 38.04.
Blake was furious in his post race interview talking about the time spent waiting in the call room. “Its tragic … Everything didn’t go according to plan, they were holding us too long in the call room.. The race was 10 minutes late, inside was really cold, and Usain said to me ‘Yohan I don’t like this’”
“We kept warning up, jumping up and down, I think the weather got the better of us… it was just crazy and to see a true legend of the sport to go down like that, and we as Jamaicans and the world don’t like to see that … we wanted him to go out in style and we went out there to give it our all and it came to that…”
Asked about the wait time, McLeod replied, “ridiculous man… We were there about like 45 minutes, went out and I think they had about three medals ceremonies before we went out so we were really trying our hardest to stay warm, and keep upbeat, but it was ridiculous…”
Jamaica, ran the final of the women’s 4x100m rrelay without Elaine Thompson for reasons not specified, with Jura Levy from the blocks, handing over to Natasha Morrison, with Simone Facey brought in for the final bend and Shashalee Forbes on anchor.
Levy stormed the first leg and the team looked in full contention for the first three legs with the USA breathing down their necks and Great Britain also threatening. The final handover was the clincher as the USA’s Bowie left it late, but managed to take the baton with the line in full sight and she pulled away for the win in a world leading 41.82 with Great Britain taking silver with 42.12 and Jamaica an unaccustomed bronze in a season best 42.19.
Jamaica’s third leg runner, Simone Facey spoke on behalf of the team. “It is a very young team and we have to take that as encouragement. We obviously wanted the gold medal but we are happy with bronze. It is not our usual team but it shows we have a lot of young talent through so they have gained a valuable experience out here.
“I tried my best to get the team in the best position on that final leg and i was screaming at her to go as fast as she could. I knew the other team was closing fast so I did all I could. “I know we were expected to get the gold but I believe in these girls moving forward,” said Facey.
The Trinidad & Tobago quartette of Semoy Hackette, Michelle Lee Ahye, Kelly Ann Baptiste and Khalifa St. Fort were 6th also in a season best 42.62.
TTO’s Keshorn Walcott, the 2012 Olympic champion at the same venue, was 7th in the men’s Javelin with 84.48m, the title going to Germany’s Johannes Vetter, 89.89. Silver and Bronze were claimed by the Czech duo, Jakub Vadlejch and Petr Frydrych both with personal bests of 89.73 and 88.32, respectively.
Jamaica’s Kemoy Campbell was 10th in the 5000m final in 13:39.74. In a race which bade farewell at this level, to Great Britain’s immortal Mohammed Farah. Seeking an unprecedented double distance double, Farah took the silver medal with 13:33.22 with the title going to Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris in :13:32.79. USA’s Paul Chelimo was in the bronze spot with 13:33.30.
Grenada’s Kurt Felix dropped one place from his 6th position from the first day scoring 8227 points. His brother and US Collegiate Decathlon record holder, Lindon Victor, who topped the Shot Putt section, failed to post a mark in both the Javelin and the Pole Vault and did not finish.
The world champion is Frenchman Kevin Mayer scoring a world leading 8768 points, with silver going to German Rico Freimuth with 8564 and his teammate, Kaz Kazmirek taking the bronze with a season best 8488 points.