Allen joins exclusive mile relay club

August 31, 2016
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Jamaica's (from left) Nathon Allen, Peter Matthews, Javon Francis and Fitzroy Dunkley celebrate winning the silver medal in the men's 4 x 400-metre relay.

It may have gone unnoticed but Nathon Allen has joined Davian Clarke and Javon Francis as a 4x400 metre maestro.

Running in the heats at the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Allen propelled Jamaica into the final with a third leg concluded in 43.5 seconds. That matched past performances by Clarke and Francis and earmarked Allen as a relay hero.

Clarke and Francis ran their 43.5 relay carries in the finals of the 1997 and 2015 World Championships, respectively. Based on electronic timing, Clarke still has the edge at 43.51 while Francis and Allen were both electronically timed at 43.52 seconds.

That smooth striding run Allen, the former Claude McKay and St Jago High school ace, makes him the fifth Jamaican to break 44 seconds on the relay. He joins Clarke, Greg Haughton, Seymour Newman and Francis as Jamaicans to run relays of such speed. Newman was the first with a 43.8 in the 1976 Olympics. Clarke matched that in the heats of the 1995 World Championships.

The Clarke sub-44 portfolio also includes a 43.81 that took Jamaica to the bronze in the 2005 Worlds and a 43.88 to seal the silver medal at the 1999 Worlds. Haughton's sub 44 was an urgent 43.88 to connect Jamaica to second place in the 2001 World Championships.

In the Olympic final, Allen contributed a 44 flat second leg as Jamaica took the silver medals. Francis closed with a 43.8 anchor leg, his second sub-44 relay run. The official split times for Peter Matthews who did the leadoff and Fitzroy Dunkley who was on third leg duty were 45.5 and 44.82 seconds respectively.

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