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Women's 4x100m takes the lead

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Jamaica’s bronze-medal-winning 4x100m women’s team at the 2017 London World Championships (from left): Jura Levy, Natasha Morrison, Shashalee Forbes and Simone Facey.

When Jamaica placed third in the women's 4x100 metres at the World Championships in London, a major milestone was attained. The bronze medal made the 4x100m the World Championships event in which Jamaica has been most successful. Previously, there was a top-of-the-table tie with the women's 200 metres.

Now, thanks to Jura Levy, Natasha Morrison, Simone Facey and Shashalee Forbes who did the running in London, Jamaica has won a total of 14 World Championship medals in the 4x100 metres. That collection includes four gold, five silver and five bronze medals.

The wins came in 1991, when Merlene Ottey drove past Germany's Heike Dreschler on the anchor leg, in 2009, 2013 and 2015. In addition to the wins, Jamaica's women have set and reset the benchmark of quality in the 4x100m at the World Championships. The 2015 team of Veronica Campbell-Brown, Morrison, Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce set a meet record of 41.07 seconds in Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest Stadium. That erased the previous meet record - 41.29 seconds - set by Carrie Russell, Kerron Stewart, Schillonie Calvert and Fraser-Pryce in 2013.

Ironically, Facey and Forbes contested the 200 metres in London. All three were eliminated at the semi-final stage. Had they or their fellow semi-finalist, Jodean Williams, won a medal, the 200 metres and the 4x100 relay would again be tied as the events in which Jamaica has been most successful at the World Championships.

Third on that performance table is the women's 100 metres, where the take has been four gold, five silver, and two bronze medals.