GLADIATORS

Williams, 4x400m relay teams strike podium finishes As Jamaica end 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships with 12 medals

Monday, October 07, 2019

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Doha, Qatar — Jamaica won three more medals to end the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships with 12, which represents its second-best performance in the 36 of the meet, which ended last night.

After 10 days of exciting, enthralling and intense competition, Jamaica finished third on the table with 12 medals, courtesy of three gold, five silver and four bronze.

The United States of America (USA) topped the table with 29 medals, including 14 gold, with Kenya finishing second with 11 medals, including five gold. China with nine medals (three gold), ended fourth, and Ethiopia was fifth with eight medals.

Jamaican men's 4x400 team got silver, the women's 4x400m picked up bronze, as did Danielle Williams in the 100m hurdles final, while Chanice Porter finished eighth in the long jump.

Williams, who was highly favoured to add to Jamaica's gold medal tally, entered the final with the fastest time after running 12.41 seconds in the semi-finals.

She led Janeek Brown and Megan Tapper into the final, but things didn't go according to plan for Jamaica as Tapper hit the first and stopped.

Brown thought she had false-started, lost focus, and ended up in seventh in 12.88 seconds; while Williams didn't have the best run to the first hurdle and found it hard to get back at the fast-starting Americans Nia Ali and Kendra Harrison.

Ali claimed the gold in a personal best of 12.34 seconds (0.3 m/s) with Harrison taking silver in 12.46 seconds. Williams fought gallantly for bronze in 12.47 seconds, just ahead of Nigeria's Tobi Amusan in 12.49 seconds.

“It wasn't the cleanest execution on my part. I hit quite a few hurdles and I hit one pretty bad, and that affected my stride pattern. So I am just grateful that I could finish the race and ended on the podium,” stated Williams.

“I don't think I got my usual good start that I have been getting all season. I think I hit the first hurdle, and in warm-up I hit the first hurdle and was a bit cautious of my steps going into the race,” she added.

“I have to give God all the glory for this. It's been a long season and Lord knows I have been through it this season, so to come out here and finish on the podium, I can't be any happier,” Williams said.

Brown, who had a fantastic collegiate season culminating with her being crowned champion, said she struggled through the semi-final and was just happy to be in the final.

“In the semi-final my leg, I wasn't feeling it so I did enough to qualify, and in the final I was definitely feeling it but I thought I false-started. I thought the race was going to recall and it just didn't — that's why I stopped and went again,” she noted.

Brown was contesting her first World Championships, was proud to have reached the final and is now looking forward to next season.

“It's just a learning experience, and we have Olympics next year and we just have to bounce back for it. It shows me that I am a contender and that I run with the big girls, but for now I am not worrying about anything, I just want to eat some KFC,” said Brown.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's women's 4x400m survived two appeals from fourth-placed Great Britain to hold on to their bronze medal, after they were initially disqualified then reinstated.

The quartet of Anastasia LeRoy, Tiffany James, Stephenie-Ann McPherson and individual bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, finished third in a season's best 3:22.37 minutes.

The USA won in a World-leading 3:18.92 minutes. They included the two 400m hurdlers — Sydney McLaughlin on the second leg and Dalilah Muhammad on the third leg — to complement lead-leg runner Phyllis Francis, and Wadeline Jonathas on anchor.

Poland secured the silver in 3:21.89 minutes, with Great Britain fourth in a season's best 3:23.02 minutes. They lodged an appeal against the Jamaicans, claiming that McPherson collected the baton from James in the wrong lane.

The Jamaicans were initially disqualified but reinstated upon appeal. The British team protested the reinstatement, but this was eventually thrown out.

The USA blew the race wide open after the second leg as McLaughlin had a terrific split of 48.7 seconds, then Muhammad ran 49.5 seconds, and the race was as good as over. Phyllis Francis had opened with 50.6 seconds, and Jonathas closed with 50.2 seconds.

Jamaica's LeRoy led off with 51.6, James stopped the clock at 51.0, McPherson tried to close the gap with a 49.6 split, and Jackson's 50.2 split saw her outsprinted down the stretch, as she settled for bronze.

The men's 4x400m team of Akeem Bloomfield, Nathon Allen, Terry Thomas, and Demish Gaye clocked a season's best 2:57.90 minutes to cop silver. The national record is 2:56.75 set in 1997.

The American won in 2:56.69 minutes on the back of a 43.5-second second leg by Michael Cherry, and 44.1-second anchor by 400m hurdles silver medallist Rai Benjamin. Fred Kerley with a 44.6 split gave them the perfect start, and Wilbert London consolidated the third leg with a 44.5 split.

Bloomfield gave Jamaica a 45.0-second opening start and Allen ran a splendid 44.1-second second leg to keep Jamaica in contention. However, the surprise run came from Thomas, who was timed at 44.3 seconds, which brought Jamaica within striking distance of the Americans. But Gaye with his 44.5 seconds could not hold onto Benjamin and secured second place comfortably.

Belgium finished third in 2:58.78 minutes ahead of Colombia, who established a national record of 2:59.50 minutes. Trinidad and Tobago were fifth in a season's best of 3:00.74 minutes.


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