NASSAU, Bahamas – Jamaica’s victory in the women’s 4x200m and a dropped baton by the men’s 4x100m team, were the main talking points at Saturday’s opening night’s conclusion of the IAAF World Relays #Bahamas2017.
Rio Olympic Games double sprint champion Elaine Thompson was superb, on anchor, as Jamaica ran a championship record, 1:29.04 to take the top spot ahead of Germany 1:30.68 and USA 1:30.87.
“There was no pressure, we came on the track and do what we do,” said Thompson after the championship run.
Jura Levy provided a good start and by time she handed over to Shericka Jackson, who passed to Sashalee Forbes, who opened the lead, Jamaica was well on their way. Thompson was unchallenged across the line.
Jackson, who ran the 2nd leg, said, “when I saw Jura coming around it motivated me, because I wanted to get the baton in front, I wanted to be so far away from the other competitors, so my plan was to run as fast as I could and get the baton to Sashalee and by this time we were way ahead and by Elaine got it, it was all over.”
Jura said “It is my first world relays and I got a gold, so I am happy.”
As for first timer at this event, Forbes, “my first world championships, first gold medal, we got championship record, what more I can ask for of my teammates, than to say job well done.”
Two other Caribbean teams, Trinidad and Tobago, 1:32.63 and British Virgin Islands, 1:35.35, were 4th and 7th respectively.
The Jamaica men’s 4x100m team, after getting a very good start from Everton Clarke, backed up by a good pass to Kemar Bailey-Cole, the latter and Jevaughn Minzie failed to make the exchange.
Yohan Blake, the 2011 World 100m champion, who was waiting on anchor leg, expressed his disappointment.
“I am very disappointed, but we have to give God thanks everybody is healthy,” were his first words. “We talked about this, we talked about everything, but Jamaica, we are making big mistakes, some simple mistakes, not picking the right team, everything is just atrocious,” added Blake.
Clarke commented “We are disappointed because we came out with a lot of confidence and we really wanted to make it into the final” while Minzie said, “I can’t blame anyone because it was just a terrible mix up on the third leg.”
USA, in the end with Justin Gatlin on anchor, won the final in 38.43 ahead of Barbados 39.18 and China 39.22.
Trinidad and Tobago won the men’s 4x100m B final in 39.04 ahead of Germany, 39.15, and Bahamas, 39.18.
Meanwhile, Jamaica men’s and women’s 4x400m teams are into Sunday’s finals while host Bahamas missed out on both.
The women’s quartet of Christine Day, Janieve Russell, Dawnalee Loney and Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, combined for 3:29.93 to finish second behind Poland 3:29.42 in heat 3. Bahamas, who was led off by Shaunae Miller-Uibo, failed to advance with 3:34.40 while Trinidad and Tobago were dq’ed.
Trinidad and Tobago, 3:02.51secs, will lead all teams into the men’s 4x400m final after beating USA, 3:02.51 in heat 2. Jamaica with Javon Francis, on second leg, ran 3:03.52 to finish behind Botswana, 3:03.09 in heat 3.