Relay men grab silver
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Gold was the target, but silver was the reality for Jamaica's men's 4x100m relay team last night inside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium as the quartet - while failing to retain the title won in Melbourne, Australia, at the last Commonwealth Games - did manage to end the athletic involvement on a high, securing the island's seventh medal.
Lerone Clarke, the 100m champion; Lansford Spence; Rasheed Dwyer; and Remaldo Rose clocked 38.79 seconds to finish behind England, 38.74, and in front of India, 38.89.
In fact, anchorman Rose must be kicking himself after giving up a five-metre lead, failing to hold off 100m silver medallist Mark Lewis-Francis, who finished in a rush to pip the former Camperdown sprinter, with little track to spare.
Clarke, the spokesman of sorts, though disappointed not to pick up his second gold medal of the games, expressed satisfaction with the outcome and believes everyone gave a great effort.
"I'm very impressed with the way that the team ran out here tonight. We could have won it and I wish we had. But such is life, we give thanks, nonetheless, and we are satisfied," said Clarke.
He added: "I believed we had won, I was celebrating from early on but we are happy nonetheless; it was a good effort from everyone."
Dwyer was quick over his leg and like Clarke, for the most part, is pleased with the way things turned out.
"It was a good race overall, I think we did our best. I'm happy with our performance, even though we didn't win," said Dwyer.
A patched-up women's 4x100m outfit were in contention for a medal, up until the point when the third and final exchange between Audria Segree and Dominique Blake, a 400m specialist who was asked to fill the spot due to the injury of Yanique Boothe, went terribly wrong.
In the end, the team finished fourth in 46.10 seconds, a time that would have given them second place at this year's Girls' Championships.
The makeshift team of hurdlers Andrea Bliss, Shanna Thomas, 200m specialists Segree and Blake must, however, be commended for their effort, as was pointed out by the latter.
'Well this is a very new team, we have all different kinds of people thrown into this race. As you know i'm a quarter-miler, I haven't done any speed work and I was called upon to represent, and I had no problems doing that for my country. We knew what we were going up against, but we just couldn't get the baton exchanges right," said Blake.
Jamaica also finished outside of the medals in the men's 4x400m final, as the team of Oral Thomas, Lansford Spence, Josef Robertson and Ricardo Cunningham were disqualified.
Former Morant Bay High school jumper, Wilber Walker, battled hard and posted a new personal best (16.85m) in the triple jump with his third effort, but nonetheless finished fifth behind Tosin Oke (Nigeria), 17.16m, Schlick Mamba (Cameroon), 17.14m, Renjith Maheswary, 17.07m. England's Nathan Douglas was fourth with 16.96m.
The other Jamaican in the event, Nicholas Thomas, could only manage 15.32m and finished in 10th spot.
"It was a very good competition and I really thank God for the personal best. I consider this a big achievement, considering that I'm coming off surgery," said Walker.