Bloomfield, Gordon impress at World Relays
Akeem Bloomfield and Chris-Ann Gordon produced the fastest Jamaican 4x400m relay split times at last weekend’s IAAF World Relays. In his senior international debut, Bloomfield paced himself to a 44.9-second leg in the men’s 4x400 metre final, while Gordon’s big effort took 51.2 seconds in the preliminary round on the women’s event.
Bloomfield’s steady second leg pulled Jamaica past eventual winner Trinidad and Tobago, after he had already stepped to a 45.3 in the first round. Demish Gaye and Rusheen McDonald both had 45.4-second split times, Gaye with a crisp opening leg in the leads and McDonald, the national record holder at 43.93 seconds, holding steady in the final.
Fastest Men’s Splits
Based on information found on the World Relays website, the fastest men’s splits came from Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago and American Fred Kerley, as both men hurried through 44.4 second legs in the final. Kerley put the USA in the lead at the halfway point but Cedenio, a 2016 Olympic finalist, overtook the Americans on the finish line to give his country victory in 3 minutes 00.81 seconds, but the Americans were disqualified shortly afterwards.
Nathan Strother, another former Bloomfield college rival, was brilliant for the USA in the heats with a first leg that took just 44.8 seconds.
The USA left a far faster team at home. Michael Norman, who beat Bloomfield at last year’s NCAA Championships, 400-metre hurdles sensation Rai Benjamin, Trevor Stewart and Quincy Hall have run 43.45, 44.31, 44.38 and 44.53 seconds, respectively, to take the top four spots in the 2019 400-metre performance list. None of that quartet contested the World Relays.
Gordon was one of three Jamaicans to dip under 52 seconds with the baton in Yokohama. The others were Commonwealth 400-metre hurdles champion Janieve Russell with her run of 51.4 seconds in the heats of the mixed 4x400m, and 2016 World Under-20 champion Tiffany James, who circled the track in 51.7 seconds in the women’s final.
Tall American Shakima Wimbley zipped through the second leg in the final in 50.8 seconds, but Poland’s second-leg runner Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz had already cooked a 50.6 in the heats.
The Poles, who are the European champions, beat the Americans in 3 minutes 27.49 seconds. Wyciszkiewicz helped the cause in the medal race with a 51.1-second leg.
The Yokohama splits also revealed a possible European threat in the men’s 400 metres. Twenty-six-year-old Davide Re opened Italy’s effort in the mixed 4x400m heats in 45.3 seconds and returned on Sunday to speed through a 44.7-second anchor leg that secured victory in the men’s B final.