Bailey-Cole feels good about sprint relay
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
After a meet-record sprint relay run with his Racers Track Club teammates at the Sainsbury Anniversary Games in London this past weekend, Jamaica's emerging sprinter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, is pretty happy with the way things turned out and believes the team, with some minor adjustments, can go much faster.
Mario Forsythe, Bailey-Cole, Warren Weir and Usain Bolt set a meet record of 37.74s to win by the proverbial mile. It was the second fastest time in the world this year behind the 37.58s run by the United States a week before.
The USA poses the biggest threat to Jamaica defending the world title they won in Daegu two years ago. Nonetheless, the young sprinter wasn't unhappy.
"We felt pretty good running the relay on Saturday. Although we didn't get to do as much practice, the run went fairly well and we came home with the meeting record."
The six-foot-five sprinter, who is being hailed as the next Bolt, believes they could have gone a lot faster had they managed to avoid a few mistakes during the race which they dominated from start to finish.
"The change between me and Warren could have been better, but I can't complain. I had to slow down because the Great Britain runner was blocking the marker, but the baton still made it around and across the finish line. Now it's just to go back in practice and make the necessary changes."
Jamaica's world-record sprint relay team has been decimated by injury and suspensions this season. Asafa Powell, who was a member of the world record-breaking team in Beijing in 2008, as well as the championship record team in Berlin a year later, will miss the championships because of a pending drug suspension, where as Michael Frater and Yohan Blake, are out due to injury.
With those runners out, there is the belief that the team that ran on Saturday will see only minor changes to the one expected to contest the finals at the World Championships in Moscow. Forsythe is expected to be replaced on the lead-off leg by Nesta Carter, the second fastest Jamaican this year, courtesy of his 9.87-second run in Madrid on July 13, but not much else is expected change. Analysts believe Nickel Ashmeade will give way to Weir as the latter will be the fresher of the two when the relays begin. Ashmeade is down to compete in both the 100m and 200m at the championships.
Despite the changes, however, Bailey-Cole doesn't believe there will be any issues that practice will not be able to remedy.
"The team has some new faces, yes, so we will need some days of practice if we want to advance to the finals, and that includes proper baton change, inside the zone, and execution."