Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Solid World Relays showing by Jamaica

Published:Monday | April 24, 2017 | 4:00 AMRobert Bailey
IAAF World Relays 4x200m bronze medal winners (from left) Nickel Ashmeade, Yohan Blake and Oshane Bailey are a picture of disappointment after their run inside the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.
Jamaica’s men’s 4x400m team of (from left) Demish Gaye, Peter Matthews, Steven Gayle and Martin Manley pose for the cameras after their IAAF World Relay bronze medal run.
The Jamaican women’s 4x400m team of (from left) Janieve Russell, Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, Verone Chambers and Stephenie-Ann McPherson pose with their bronze medals at the IAAF World Relays.
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NASSAU, Bahamas:

No gold medals, but it was still a solid day for the Jamaican contingent as the curtains came down on the third IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas last night.

Jamaica's men 4x200m and women's 4x400m teams had to settle for bronze medals in their respective finals at the early season championships inside the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, while it was silver in the women's 4x100m final.

With the Americans running into early trouble, the Jamaican team of Simone Facey, Natasha Morrison, Gayon Evans and Sashalee Forbes became favourites for the gold, but that went to the German team that clocked 42.84 with the Jamaicans running second in 42.95 with China, 43.11, taking bronze.

The team of Nickel Ashmeade, Oshane Bailey, Rasheed Dwyer and captain Yohan Blake finished a disappointed and distant third 1:21.09 seconds behind an impressive Canada team which took the event in 1:19.42 with second place going to the United States in 1:19.88.

Blake, who failed to reel in the athletes ahead of him, believes the team did a decent job even if he wanted to get the baton a little closer to the action for a better chance at a top podium spot.

 

NOT A BAD PERFORMANCE

 

"It wasn't a bad performance, but I wanted to get the baton a bit closer and then it would have been a different race," Blake said. "I am feeling excellent. I am coming on really well and so I have to give God thanks, no one got injured."

In the women's 4x400m final, Jamaica again had to settle for third place with the team of Janieve Russell, Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, Verone Chambers and Stephenie-Ann McPherson finishing in a time of 3:28.49 behind the United States, 3:24.36 and Poland, 3:28.28.

The Jamaicans were comfortably in second on the last leg before McPherson was overtaken a few steps from the finish line by Poland's Justyna Swiety with the Jamaican later admitting that they expected a different colour medal while expressing gratitude nonetheless.

"I am feeling great. It is not what we wanted, but a medal is a medal," said McPherson.

Russell was thankful for what was her maiden medal at these championships.

"I feel very blessed and thankful because it is my first World Relays and to get a bronze medal, I am thankful and happy," noted Russell before Chambers expressed her delight at competing at the event.

"I feel really blessed to be a part of the team because I always watched World Relays for the past two years and I always wished that I could be a part of the team. But now I am not just a part of the team, but to run in the final is an awesome feeling," Chambers said.

Jamaica (39 points) again finished second behind USA (60 points) with Australia third on 24.