THE Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has hailed Monday's announcement of the ratification of the women's World Under-20 4x100m record by World Athletics.
The team of Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, Kerrica Hill and Tia Clayton ran 42.59 seconds at the World Athletics Under-20 championships in Cali, Colombia, on August 5 last year to beat the time of 42.94 seconds the same foursome had set a year earlier at the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
Garth Gayle, president of the JAAA, told the Jamaica Observer they were "happy" for the ratification.
"We are celebrating with the athletes, the coaches, the officials, and the medical people who were with the team," he said
Gayle said there was a slightly bittersweet element to the world record, however, as "the girls had run a better time on home soil in front of the fans, but that time was not ratified".
He was referencing the 42.58 seconds that a Jamaican women's Under-20 team with Brianna Lyston, instead of Hill, had clocked to win the gold medal at the CARIFTA Games hosted by Jamaica in April. That time was not ratified by World Athletics, however, as only three of the four runners were drug-tested by the Jamaican drug-testing authorities.
Gayle hailed the team saying, "despite the disappointment, the young ladies kept their focus and beat even stronger oppositions in Cali to prove that what they had done was not a fluke".
Jamaican teams occupy five of the top nine positions on the World Athletics performance list, with the 42.58 seconds still the fastest, followed by the time run in Cali, and the time in Nairobi the third-fastest.
A Jamaican team — with sprint hurdler Alexis James, instead of Hill, clocking 43.28 seconds in the preliminaries in Cali — holds the fifth best of all times.
The Jamaican team of Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Anniesha McLaughlin and Simone Facey that ran 43.40 seconds to win the gold medal at the World Under-20 Championships in 2002 in Kingston is in ninth spot.
— Paul Reid