Jamaica’s quartet that claimed the gold medal at the Tokyo Summer Olympics last year have begun their quest for world record glory after advancing to the final of the women’s 4×100 meters relay at the Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championships.
The Jamaican quartet of Briana Williams, Natalliah Whyte, Ramona Burchell and Kemba Nelson stormed to a season’s-best time of 42.37 seconds to secure their spot in the final of the event. They crossed the line behind Great Britain, who clocked 41.99. Only Briana Williams was a part of the gold medal winning team that was favored to shatter the world record in the event at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
The USA with Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter set the world record of 40.82 at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Based on the rules outlined by World Athletics, however, each country is allowed to make a maximum of three changes if a 4×100 meters relay team advances to the final. As a result, Jamaica will include the five-time world 100 meters champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; the fastest woman alive over the 200 meters, Shericka Jackson, and the double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah. All three women completed a 1-2-3 finish in the final of the women’s 100 meters. As a result, Jamaica will be under world record watch and will be the race favorite in the final.
Jamaica is the second most successful nation behind the United States (6), having won world championship gold in the 4×100 meters five times. In addition, the nation set the championship record of 41.07 at the 2015 Beijing World Championships.
The final of the women’s 4×100 meters will also include the United States (41.56), Great Britain (41.99), Spain (42.61), Nigeria (42.68), Italy (42.71), Switzerland (42.73) and Germany (42.44).
Meanwhile, in the final of the women’s 400 meters,Stephenie-Ann McPherson (50.36) and Candice McLeod (50.78) placed fifth and seventh respectively in the final of the women’s 400 meters. The Jamaicans lined up against a stacked field that required a sub-50 clocking to secure a spot on the podium. The event was won by the two-times Olympic champion, Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas in a world leading time of 49.11. She was followed by Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic 49.60 for the silver medal, while Sada Williams made history to claim Barbados’s first world championship medal in the event in a national record and personal-best time of 49.75 seconds for the bronze.
Additional events contested on Day 7 of the Oregon22 World Championships:
Women’s 400-meter hurdles final: Jamaica’s lone representative in the final of the women’s 400 meters hurdles, Rushell Clayton, placed sixth in a time of 54.36. Clyaton produced a personal-best time of 53.63 to advance to the final. Meanwhile, the event was won in impressive fashion as Sydney McLaughlin shattered her own world record to claim the gold medal in a time of 50.68. McLaughlin is the only woman in history to produce a sub-51 clocking in the event. Femke Bol of the Netherlands claimed the silver in a season’s best time of 52.27, while the second fastest woman of all time in the event, Dalilah Muhammad of the United States, took home the bronze in a season’s best time of 53.13.
Women’s 800 meters: Natoya Goule-Toppin has punched her ticket to another world championship final in the women’s 800 meters. Meanwhile, Adelle Tracey, who also competed in the 1500 meters, gave a valiant effort to finish third in her semi-final in 2:00.21, but missed out on a non-automatic qualification spot. As a result, Goule-Toppin will be Jamaica’s only competitor scheduled to contest the event.
Men’s 400-meter final: Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor, who is no stranger to making an appearance in global 400 meters finals – having done so at the Tokyo Olympics last year – clocked a time of 45.30 to place seventh. The final was won by Michael Norman of the United States (44.29), while Kirani James of Grenada (44.48) and Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith (44.66) captured the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Men’s 4×100 relay: The quartet of Ackeem Blake, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Jelani Walker and Conroy Jones advanced to the final as a non-automatic qualifier after finishing fourth in heat two in a season’s best time of 38.33. Jamaica set the world record at the 2012 London Olympics (36.84) and holds the championship record of37.04 seconds from the 2011 Daegu World Championships.