Fumbled baton foils women’s 4x200m - Jamaicans get bronze in Japan

May 13, 2019
Stephenie-Ann McPherson (left) and Shericka Jackson react after finishing third in the women’s 4x200 metres at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan, yesterday.
Jonielle Smith dives to the finish line in the women’s 4x100 metres. Jamaica finished second in 43.29 seconds.
Demish Gaye (right) hands off the baton to Akeem Bloomfield as Jamaica transitions from its first to its second leg in the Men's 4x400m relay final at the IAAF World Relay Games in Yokohama, Japan. Jamaica's team of Gaye, Bloomfield, Rusheen McDonald and Nathon Allen finished second behind Trinidad and Tobago. Ricardo Makyn/Chief Photo Editor

Yokohama, Japan:

Jamaica’s women 4x200 metres team had been heralded as the main attraction of the 2019 World Relays since the team was announced, but fumbled baton passes prevented the much-hyped team from living up to billing, as they crossed the finish line in fourth on the final day of competition.

Experts believe that with good execution, the team of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson, Shericka Jackson, and Stephenie-Ann McPherson could have broken the 19-year-old world record of 1:27.46, or even the meet record of 1:29.04 set by another Jamaican team, which included both Thompson and Jackson, in The Bahamas two years ago.

Instead, they clocked 1:33.21 after completing only one good baton exchange. Not even natural leg speed could save them.

They finished fourth, but were awarded third place, after the American team was disqualified for a lane violation.

“We were expecting to do better, but we finished third, and we are grateful for that,” McPherson said.

France won the race in 1:32.16, ahead of China, second, in 1:32.76.

“It is what it is,” said Jackson.

“I am a little disappointed, but it is a Championship and stuff does happen. The baton exchanges weren’t good, but we finished healthy, so we are happy about that,” she added.

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