KINGSTON, Jamaica – ANOTHER exciting episode in the heated rivalry between US and Jamaican sprinters is set to unfold in London when the women square off in the 4x100 metres relay.
The Jamaican women should enter the final, (once they get the baton around in the semi-finals) better prepared mentally, with a more experienced line up.
Jamaica’s Olympic relay squad comprises Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kerron Stewart, Sherone Simpson, Samantha Henry-Robinson and Schillonie Calvert.
Reigning Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has peaked in time for the Olympics with a personal best 10.70 seconds done at the Jamaica national championships in June; Veronica Campbell-Brown is well experienced at the Olympics while Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson both have Olympic silverware in their respective cabinets.
Henry-Robinson and Calvert would likely be selected to run the qualifying rounds though the team selectors may not wish to take any chances and risk the Jamaican squad not making the final.
The Jamaicans will be hoping to repeat their feat from Athens 2004 when Campbell-Brown anchored the team to victory and will also be hoping to redeem from the Beijing 2008 mix up when they did not finish the race due to a faulty baton exchange.
Indeed, getting the baton around may prove a bigger challenge to the chances of the black, green, and gold-clad team taking the top position rather than that of the Americans.
The US will no doubt be anchored by World and US champion Carmelita Jeter. Jeter, Bianca Knight, and the indomitable Allyson Felix along with Marshavet Myers were members of the 4x100m winning team at the World Championships last year.
Myers did not make the US finals this season but World Indoor 60m contender Tianna Madison finished second to Jeter with her personal best 10.96 at the US trials, while Felix, Knight, Jeneba Tarmoh, and Lauryn Williams were among the top six.
The US is the top team in the world having posted 42.19 seconds at the Penn Relays in April.
Germany (42.51) and the Ukraine (42.60) have run faster times than the Jamaicans who posted 43.31 to finish second in Philadelphia.
The addition of Campbell-Brown and Fraser-Pryce, in a much better condition, has bolstered the Jamaican team. However, neither Germany nor the Ukraine should be taken lightly especially if there are any mishaps in baton changing.
France, Nigeria, Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, Poland, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Japan, Switzerland, Bahamas, and Belarus are the other teams that will contest the women’s 4x100m.
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