Gaye closes fast for 4th in quarter-mile final

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Doha, Qatar — Demish Gaye closed fast but not fast enough and missed out on a medal, after finishing a credible fourth in the men's 400m final in a personal best of 44.46 seconds, while Akeem Bloomfield finished eighth in 45.25 seconds.

Steven Gardiner, the lanky Bahamian, certainly lifted the spirit of his battered country devastated by Hurricane Dorian, when he ran the race of his life to strike gold in 43.48 seconds — the sixth-fastest time in history.

Gardiner, who looked easy throughout the rounds, tracked long-time leaders Kirani James and Machel Cedenio before separating himself in the straight for a most-impressive victory.

Anthony Zambrano of Colombia closed well for silver in 44.15 seconds, just ahead of American hope Fred Kerley, who claimed bronze in 44.17 seconds.

Running from lane two, Gaye improved on his sixth-placed finish in 2017.

Kenya's Emmanuel Korir clocked 44.94 for sixth, the fast-starting Cedenio faded into seventh in 45.30, just ahead of Bloomfield, running from lane one.

“Honestly speaking, no excuses. It was not a very successful race for me; I didn't finish where I wanted to finish. Despite whatever lane, I got a lane in the final and once you have a lane you have a chance and it just didn't work out for me this year so we move forward,” said Bloomfield.

“My body has been feeling a bit tired, so I can say I am just happy to be in the final, valuable experience taking from the final,” he noted.

Earlier, Jamaica's women sped to a season's best of 42.11 seconds and safely into the final of the 4x100m relay final.

The quartet of Natalia Whyte, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jonielle Smith, and Natasha Morrison held off the flying Asha Phillips on anchor for Great Britain, who were second, also in a season's best of 42.25 seconds.

China were third in 42.36 seconds, with Germany fourth in 42.82 seconds, to qualify as one of the fastest losers.

The Italians, who finished sixth in 42.90 seconds, screamed and huddled as if they had won gold, but their celebrations were actually for establishing a new national record.

However, after leaving the track, it was revealed that they had actually qualified for the final after a couple of disqualifications, and another round of celebrations followed.

The Jamaicans had a very good start by Whyte to Fraser-Pryce, who sprinted away and gave Smith a decent lead, but Morrison on anchor had to dig deep for victory, as Phillips closed fast.

Jamaica were not so lucky in the men's section, as despite a season's best of 38.15 seconds, they finished in fifth and failed to make the final.

This was the first time in in 18 years that Jamaica will not be competing in the final. The quartet of Oshane Bailey, Yohan Blake, Rasheed Dwyer, and Tyquendo Tracey were fifth in heat one.

Great Britain won in a world-leading 37.56 seconds, with Brazil second in 37.90 seconds. The USA fumbled badly on their last exchange and finished third in 38.03 seconds, their season's best.

Italy followed their female counterparts and broke the national record, stopping the clock at 38.11 seconds for fourth.

—Howard Walker