EUGENE, Oregon. — It was a shock for the US women’s relay team.
For men – more of the same.
The women stunned Jamaica in the 4×100 relay at the World Championships on Saturday, while the select men finished second after a casual baton exchange that was a ritual even before anyone on this team was born.
André DeGrasse beat Marvin Bracey by 0.07 seconds to lead Canada to victory in the men’s race in 37.48 seconds.
Bracey fell behind on the anchor leg after reaching back twice and sniffing the exchange from Elijah Hall, who fell to the ground after finally getting the stick in his teammate’s hand.
“Uncleanness cost us the race,” Bracey tweeted before he even made it through the interview area. “No excuses. We let you down and we apologize.”
American women felt nothing but love. A clear underdog when compared to the Jamaican team, which won all but one of six sprint medals at that event, the US experienced a disappointment when Twanisha Terry pinned 200-time gold medalist Sherika Jackson for a 0.04 second win.
She celebrated by performing her “dirty bike dance” by hopping on one leg while spinning the handlebars of her imaginary super-fast bike.
“I just felt like the crowd was going crazy,” Terry said. “It was very exciting.”
The American team, which also included Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner and Jenna Prandini, finished in 41.14.
Jamaica Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce retained her streak. She has won gold or silver in every world relay she has competed in since 2007. However, no one in Jamaica came to the relay thinking about second place this year.
The Jamaican team included all three sprinters from last weekend’s 100m and both runners-up in the 200m. His fate could have been sealed by a messy first pass between Kemba Nelson and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
“I don’t think there is any medal that is just for Jamaica,” Fraser-Pryce said. “We have to go there and work like everyone else.”
The USA took all six medals in the men’s 100m and 200m.
Relay races proved once again that not only speed is important in these races.
“You can have the fastest runner, but if there is no chemistry and trust, and the baton is not moving through the exchange, you will not be able to show such a fast time,” Terry explained.
While the US men will walk away with medals this time around – they have not competed in six of the last 13 World Championships and three of the last four Olympics – this is nothing short of an unsatisfactory result.
“You can walk out of here with nothing,” Bracey said. “But we have to clean everything up. We have a lot of work to do to keep getting better.”
De Grasse, the Olympic champion in the 200 meters, was barely able to climb stairs four weeks ago while recovering from COVID-19. Last weekend he didn’t finish the 100m and dropped out of the 200m altogether.
He won the gold medal with a team that also included Aaron Brown, who placed seventh in the 200 and eighth in the 100m, Jerome Blake, who did not reach the final in either, and Brandon Rodney, who was part of Canada’s relay pool. .
“As soon as I got the baton, I said, ‘OK, I’m head to head with the US, and now I just have to do what I can,'” de Grasse said. “It was great to ruin the party for them.”
The USA fielded the same line-up as the day before, leaving on the bench several medalists and speeds – Trayvon Bromell, Herrion Knighton, Kenny Bednarek and an injured Fred Curley.
Hall stayed. His resume: fifth place in a hundred national championships this year, as well as the 2018 NCAA relay title at the University of Houston, where legend Carl Lewis, who is also a constant critic of the relay process in the United States, competed. coaching for many years.
“We tried to assemble a team to provide some kind of continuity and achieve success,” Bracey said. “We did a good job yesterday. We just tried to go out and do the same today. It didn’t work in our favor… and we took “L”.
One thought for the men: take a page from a book written by women’s relay coach Meshell Lewis Freeman.
Her team consisted of an eighth-place finisher in the 100 (Jefferson), a fifth-place finisher in the 200 (Steiner), and two others (Prandini and Terry) who did not advance from the semi-finals.
The initial transition between Jefferson and Steiner may not have been surprisingly smooth, but neither has Jamaica.
Terry took the stick as a pivot, about four steps ahead of Jackson, who had set the second fastest time in the 200 m (21.45) two days earlier.
Jamaica closed and closed some more, but when Terry leaned over the line, she took America’s first World Championship victory in that race since 2017, when Fraser-Pryce was out of action after having a baby.
The relay medals gave the US 28 points, just three short of the World Championship record. He will be medaled in the men’s and women’s 4×400 and women’s 800m with Olympic champion Ating Moo.
Other winners on Saturday included Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir of Kenya in the men’s 800m, Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia in the women’s 5000m, Anderson Peters of Grenada in the men’s javelin and Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo, who backed up his Olympic title of the world champion in the top three among men. Bounce.
The evening also included a (last?) curtain call for Allison Felix, who was lured back onto the world stage to compete in the women’s 4×400 preliminaries.
This allows Felix to win his 20th World Championship medal and 14th gold medal since Sunday’s final. The USA has won the 4×400 at seven of the last nine World Championships.
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