BIRMINGHAM, England — Elaine Thompson-Herah ended her Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign with a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay, with the double sprint champion again showing her class in a blistering anchor leg that propelled the team to the podium at Alexander Stadium.
Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman alive, is hoping that the less-experienced members of the team — Kemba Nelson, Natalliah Whyte and Remona Burchell — will be motivated by the experience to continue pushing themselves to greater success in the future.
The Jamaicans clocked 43.08 seconds to finish behind Nigeria, 42.10 and England, 42.41, ensuring the team secured its fifth medal in the event at the last six Commonwealth Games.
It was a respectable result for the makeshift team considering that both Thompson and Whyte doubled over the six days of the meet while Nelson was just recovering from illness and was also nursing an injury she suffered during warm-up in an incident which also resulted in an arm injury for Whyte.
"It was a good team effort. The girls didn't get a medal at the championship so the aim was to go out there as a team and do our best. It's not our strongest team but I told them not to panic, just listen and pass the stick around — and then I just tried to hang on to that third place to give my team that medal," explained Thompson-Herah.
"Normally when you get to your first championship or make your first final, that's a big motivation for a lot of young athletes. Many athletes came to the championship and didn't get past the first round, and I think it's a big motivation for these girls. As a senior athlete here I know they see what I do and they want to do what I do, and I think it's a motivation for them. So, I just want them to continue to stay focused and do what they need to because it takes a lot of hard work and, you know, once you put your mind and your body to it you can achieve your targets," affirmed Thompson-Herah.
Nelson, the lead-off runner, was pleased with the effort and grateful to be leaving as a medallist at the games, after her participation was delayed.
"It's always a pleasure for me to compete for Jamaica and the aim was always to get on the podium and shoot for gold. That didn't happen but we still managed to pull off the third spot — and you can't complain when you win hardware," Nelson said before touching on her own challenges in Birmingham.
"I always consider myself a fighter. If it's not anything major I'll always go there and give my best, regardless; and I tried my best not to think about it too much and to ensure I didn't allow it to set me back. I did my best on that first leg — and our best along with the team got us a bronze medal and I am grateful," she said.
Burchell, who ran the third leg, was also grateful for the medal in her first 4x100m run in the final at this level.
"I'm happy! As I said, I came here in Birmingham to run the 4x100m and I got put into the 100m, so I am happy we came over here and got the bronze. I would prefer a better medal but things happen so I'm grateful," Burchell said.
Finalist in the 100m and 200m, Whyte says she is looking forward to pushing on in her career after experiencing her first individual final at the senior international level.
"I'm happy with the medal. It was a team effort. Elaine and I had a few rounds in our legs and the other ladies really came out and gave their best effort, so I'm happy. We are all going home with a medal so we have to be very grateful," Whyte said.
The team of Shiann Salmon, Junelle Bromfield, Roneisha McGregor and Natoya Goule clocked 3:26.93 to finish second to England, 3:25.84, in the women's 4x400m final which saw Scotland, 3:30.15, taking the bronze.
The men's team was disqualified for a lane violation.
In the men's triple jump final Jordan Scott, 16.11m, finished fifth behind the India pair of Eldhose Paul, who won the gold with 17.03m and silver medallist Abdulla Narangolintevid, 17.02m, with Bermudian Jah-Nhai Perinchief, 16.92m, winning the bronze medal.
Anthony Cox, 46.17, and Nathon Allen, 48.00, were sixth and eighth in the men's 400m final, respecetively, while there was also disappointment for Megan Tapper, 12.67, and Danielle Williams, 12.69, who were fourth and sixth, respectively ,in the women's 100m hurdles.
That event was won by world record holder Tobi Amusan (Nigeria) in a games record 12.30 seconds.
Navasky Anderson, 1:48.75, ran fifth in the men's 800m final while Ackelia Smith's 6.55m was good enough for seventh in the women's long jump final.