DOHA, Qatar – Jamaica earned silver in the final event of the 17th edition of the IAAF World Championships inside the Khalifa International stadium; the men’s 4x400m clocking a season’s best 2:57.90.
It was the second-fastest time ever by a Jamaican quartet behind the national record of 2:56.75 set on 10 August 1997 by Michael McDonald, Gregory Haughton, Danny McFarlane and Davian Clarke in Athens, Greece.
“We knew the USA had a very strong team,” said Nathon Allen. “Coming out here we knew we had to do our individual bests and stick to them as close as possible. We had to stick to our own race, though. You cannot change your race plan because someone is in front of you. They (USA) won in a very good time. We were second, so next time we just have to go out there and hope for the best. I hope we are in the gold medal position next year.”
Defending champions, Trinidad and Tobago finished fifth in 3:00.74. “I would take the positives and blessings from this,” said Jereem Richards.
“We all came out injury-free; we did our best and had a season’s best today. I know many persons are not satisfied with this, but sometimes disappointment and struggle are just stumbling blocks on the road to success. We will use this as something positive to move us forward going into the Tokyo Olympics.”
In the women’s equivalent, Jamaica survived a scare as moments after crossing the finish line in third; news came that they had been disqualified under Rule 170.20.
In the 4×400m race, the athletes running the third and fourth legs (or under Rule 170.15(b), the second leg) shall, under the direction of a designated official, place themselves in their waiting position in the same order (inside to out) as the order of their respective team members as they enter the last bend.
Once the incoming athletes have passed this point, the waiting athletes shall maintain their order, and shall not exchange positions at the beginning of the takeover zone. If an athlete does not follow this Rule, his team shall be disqualified.
Jamaica’s team management quickly appealed the decision, and the referee reinstated Jamaica, as information came that the athletes were not placed in the proper order under the direction of the responsible official as per Rules 170.3 and 170.20. Jamaica duly collected their bronze The Jamaican quartet ran a season’s best 3:22.37.
The women’s 100m hurdles final was one of the most anticipated events all year. It lived up to expectations but provided a surprise winner.
Red hot favourite Danielle Williams, who was upstaged by the American duo of Nia Ali, who ran a personal best of 12.34 (+0.3 m/s) and Kendra Harrison (12.46), had to settle for third in 12.47 seconds.
“It was not the cleanest race on my part,” said Williams.
“I was hitting quite a few hurdles, so I commend myself for finishing strongly to being able to get the bronze medal despite all that was happening in the race.”
Before the Doha championships, world record holder Kendra Harrison had never won a medal at a global outdoor championship. The American ended that drought on Sunday when she claimed silver by a whisker ahead of Jamaica’s Danielle Williams.
“I just wanted to get to the line and get a medal,” said Harrison.
“I’m so glad an American was able to go out and conquer. It is my first (outdoor) medal. This means so much, to represent the USA again. For me, it is just about getting back up on ‘to the world stage. I am lost for words, but I am so grateful to have made it.”
Elsewhere, Jamaica’s Chanice Porter finished eighth in the women’s long jump final with a best effort of 6.56m.
It was a good championship for Jamaica who won 12 medals (3 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze) finishing third on the medal table. The country was also third on the placing table with 115 points.
Two other Caribbean Islands, despite their small number of representatives, did exceptionally well. The Bahamas won gold and silver in the men’s and women’s 400m respectively to finish 15th on the medal table and 26th overall on the placing table with 16 points.
Grenada claimed one gold, courtesy of Anderson Peters in the men’s javelin, to finish joint 17th on the medal table and joint 32nd on the placing table with 12 points.