Sat | May 25, 2019

IAAF World Relays | Lukewarm results for Jamaica on chilly World Relays opening day

Published:Saturday | May 11, 2019 | 9:30 AMAkino Ming
Ricardo Makyn/Chief Photo Editor Megan Tapper clears a hurdle during the heats of the Mixed Hurdles Shuttle Relay at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
Ricardo Makyn/Chief Photo Editor Tyquendo Tracey (right) gets going after receiving the baton from Rasheed Dwyer in the heats of the men's 4x100m at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan.
Ricardo Makyn/Chief Photo Editor Jonielle Smith (right) anchors Jamaica to a second place finish in the women's 4x100m relay heats at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday May 11, 2019.
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YOKOHAMA, Japan:

Jamaica missed out on its first opportunity to get a medal at the 2019 IAAF World Relays as the Mix Shuttle Hurdles relay team had to be withdrawn from the final after two of its members suffered muscular injuries on a cool evening in the Yokohama International Stadium.

Temperatures dropped to 20 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the evening and it seems to have affected sprint hurdler Andrew Riley and reserve Norman Pittersgill.

Riley, along with Ronald Levy, Megan Tapper and Amoi Brown seemed comfortable, though tentative in qualification, by posting 55.47 seconds, the second fastest time heading into the final, to win heat one.

But the former Calabar High School athlete could not return for the final two hours later as he suffered a hamstring strain.

Pittersgill was not able to replace him as he had sustained an injury to his right quadriceps during warm-ups.

“The Shuttle Hurdles was something that we were really looking forward to do outstandingly well in but due to injuries we had to withdraw because two of our male hurdlers got hurt and we did not want to take a chance and force anyone to compete with an injury,” said Donald Quarrie, Technical Leader for the team.

The Americans won the race in 54.96 with Japan finishing second in 55.59. The third team in the field, Australia, was disqualified for a false start.

The women's mile relay team found themselves in trouble after fading into third after the first two legs in the preliminaries. 

But former World Junior champion Tiffany James and Chrisann Gordon brought them back into third after Christine Day and Shiann Salmon struggled on the first two legs. 

The team qualified for the final scheduled for 5:21 a.m. tomorrow (Jamaica time) as one of the two fastest losers, after registering the sixth fastest time of the night with 3:28.80.  Salmon, who ran the second leg of the race, complained about the weather.

 “I am guessing that it must have  been the weather because I felt a bit cold out there but hopefully I will feel better for the finals,” Salmon said.

In the men's equivalent, Jamaica finished second behind the USA with 3:02.67 after the Americans stopped the clock at 3:02.06 in heat one. 

The team of Demish Gaye, Akeem Bloomfield, Jovan Francis and Nathon Allen is one of the fastest teams on paper the country has put together in event. 

“I think we have what it takes to win and I know we are going to change a few things and come out and try to get the win tomorrow,” Gaye said.

The weather also seemed to affect the women's 4x100m team, who finished second in their heat in 43.08 behind Germany who posted 43.03.

"We are glad we qualified. The weather felt a bit cool and wasn't as cool as it was earlier in the day. But we didn’t get any injuries and we got the baton around the track," Sherone Simpson, who ran the lead off leg said.

Their male counterparts’ woes in the event continue as they had to endure a nervy wait to become one of the fastest losers to qualify for tomorrow’s final scheduled for 6:52 A.M. Jamaica time.

The team of Nesta Carter, Julian Forte, Rasheed Dwyer and Tyquendo Tracey finished third in heat one with a time of 38.51 behind Great Britain’s 38.11 and Brazil’s 38.22.

The 4x400m mixed failed to qualify for the final after posting 3:1847 in heat one of the events