Mishaps and disappointment - Jamaica garner lowest-ever IAAF World Relays point haul
Jamaica tallied their lowest number of points ever at an IAAF World Relays after finishing second with 27 points behind the United States of America (USA), who totalled 54 points, as the black, green and gold participation at the fourth staging of the meet was marred by a series of misfortunes that reduced to the team to three medals.
It started on day one when the unlikely scenario of a team member and his reserve sustaining injuries at the same time, occurred.
Andrew Riley hurt his hamstring in the preliminary round of the mixed shuttle hurdle race, but the team had to be withdrawn from the final as Norman Pittersgill, who came here as his replacement, injured his thigh while he was warming up.
It seems as though that incident set the tone for the meet as Jamaica came close to winning several races but could not get over the line first.
After barely making it to the final, the women’s 4x400m team made a serious attempt to win Jamaica’s first race at the meet yesterday, but a mistimed move by anchor runner Janieve Russell proved costly as she was beaten into fifth after she came off the bend with the lead.
Tiffany James, like she did in the preliminary round, had run a monster third leg to put the team in front.
“I think everyone did the best that they could, and we are just grateful for the outcome because it could have been worse,” Chrisann Gordon, who ran the first leg, said.
Didn’t execute well
But Russell could not hide her disappointment. “I am disappointed with my run,” she said. “I think I didn’t execute as well as I thought I could to make my team get a medal, but I am glad that I finished the race injury-free.”
The team registered 3:28.30 minutes as Poland won the race in 3:27.49, ahead of the USA, who clocked 3:27.65.
Their male counterparts showed fighting spirit, and there was hope when national record holder, Rusheen McDonald ran a brilliant third leg to put the team in contention. But they had to settle for second place with a time of 3:01.57 minutes. Trinidad won the race in a world-leading time of 3:00.81.
The biggest disappointment of the meet came with the women’s 4x200m team.
The team of two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson, and Stephenie Ann McPherson was billed as the star attraction of the meet, but they fumbled the baton twice and could only manage 1:33.21 minutes for third.
It was Jonielle Smith and the women’s 4x100m team that provided the bright spark as they ran a superb anchor leg to finish second in 43.29 seconds, behind the USA’s 43.27.
“When I got the baton, I just said that I had to do whatever it takes to get the job done,” Smith said.
Their male counterparts could only manage sixth, with 38.88 seconds, as Brazil grabbed the gold medal in 38.05 ahead of the USA, who clocked 38.07.