THE STARS WERE aligning for the US when they called upon two individual medalists to add some punch to an already formidable squad that produced 41.59 in the heats. Jamaica, too, added spice to its heat lineup with the addition of the 200 champion, but the news was not so cheery for Team GB, as they were unable to add the extra firepower they needed to their arsenal.
Coming in the fastest from the heats, the U.S. lined up in lane 6. Jamaica, the winner of heat I, was just outside in 7, with Britain in 8 and Switzerland in 9. The inner lanes were Germany 1, Netherlands 2, Poland 3, Italy 4 and Côte d’Ivoire 5.
The Americans were repped by Tamari Davis, TeeTee Terry, 200 silver medalist Gabby Thomas and 100 champ Sha’Carri Richardson. Jamaica’s lineup included Natasha Morrison, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shashalee Forbes and 200 champ Shericka Jackson. GB had Asha Philip, Imani Lansiquot, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita, but noticeably absent was Dina Asher-Smith, due to an injury issue.
Leadoff Leg: Davis was out quick, but so too was Morrison, who had a much cleaner exchange to SAFP than Davis did to Terry. Philip had a great start for Britain and held her own against Morrison on her inside, but her pass to Lansiquot was not fluid and they lost ground.
Second Leg: Terry, who anchored last year’s gold-winning team, held her own and more, as she ran down Fraser-Pryce and brought the Americans even with Jamaica, who had already made up the stagger on GB in 8. It was subsequently reported that Fraser-Pryce had incurred a minor leg strain during her carry.
Third Leg: The US had another rocky moment as Thomas left a bit early and it took Terry an extra stride to get the stick in her hand, but the exchange was clean as the Fraser-Pryce to Forbes pass put the marginally ahead.
Thomas’s leg was superb. She used her speed and turn expertise to give Richardson a 2-meter lead heading for home.
Anchor Leg: After Jackson had run away from everyone in the 200 the night before, many thought she might reel Richardson in, but that was not the case. The American did not yield and brought it home in a championship record 41.03, the No. 4 all-time performance, ahead of Jamaica’s 41.21.
Britain claimed the bronze in 41.97, well ahead of Italy’s 42.49.
Davis, who led off the US charge, proclaimed, “My job was to beat the stagger, make sure I get to TeeTee, and I did. I fixed our little mix-up, and it was gone.”
Thomas, who acknowledged there were some shaky handoff moments admitted, “We had one handoff, but the chemistry was there. We knew that we both had jobs, and we trusted each other. That was it. We had one handoff, and we made it work.”
After it all, a delighted Richardson exclaimed, “I’m proud of myself. It feels amazing, along with these ladies, to do what it is we’ve been training to do. No matter what we put out there, we know what we need to do.”
WOMEN’S 4 x 100 RESULTS
FINAL (August 26)
1. United States 41.03 (WL, AL) (4 W; 3 A)
(Tamari Davis, TeeTee Terry, Gabby Thomas, Sha’Carri Richardson);
2. Jamaica 41.21 (8 W)
(Natasha Morrison, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shashalee Forbes, Shericka Jackson);
3. Great Britain 41.97
(Asha Philip, Imani Lansiquot, Bianca Williams, Daryll Neita);
4. Italy 42.49
(Zaynab Dosso, Dalia Kaddari, Anna Bongiorni, Alessia Pavese);
5. Poland 42.66
(Pia Skrzyszowska, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, Magdalena Stefanowicz, Ewa Swoboda);
6. Germany 42.98
(Louise Wieland, Sina Mayer, Gina Lückenkemper, Rebekka Haase);
(N’Ketia Seedo, Lieke Klaver, Nadine Visser, Tasa Jiya);
… dnf—Côte d’Ivoire
(Murielle Ahoure-Demps, Marie-Josee Ta Lou, Jessika Gbai, Maboundou Kone);
(Nathacha Kouni, Salome Kora, Geraldine Frey, Melissa Gutschmidt).
(lanes: 1. Germany; 2. Netherlands; 3. Poland; 4. Italy; 5. Cote d’Ivoire; 6. United States; 7. Jamaica; 8. Great Britain; 9. Switzerland)
(reaction times: 0.144 Great Britain, 0.145 United States, 0.153 Poland & Germany, 0.167 Netherlands, 0.169 Cote d’Ivoire, 0.184 Italy, 0.196 Jamaica, 0.200 Switzerland)
HEATS (August 25)
I–1. Jamaica 41.70 (Briana Williams, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Forbes, Fraser-Pryce); 2. Great Britain 42.33 (Philip, Lansiquot, Williams, Annie Tagoe); 3. Switzerland 42.64; 4. Germany 42.78;
5. Trinidad 42.85 (Akilah Lewis, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas, Leah Bertrand); 6. Spain 42.96 (Lucía Carrillo, Jael Bestue, Paula Sevilla, Carmen Marco); 7. France 43.12 (Carolle Zahi, Gemima Joseph, Helene Parisot, Mallory Leconte);… dnf—Australia.
II–1. United States 41.59 (AL)
(Davis, Terry, Tamara Clark, Melissa Jefferson);
2. Côte d’Ivoire 41.90 NR (#8 nation); 3. Italy 42.14 NR (Kaddari, Bongiorni, Pavese, Dosso); 4. Netherlands 42.53 (Seedo, Marije van Hunenstijn, Jamile Samuel, Jiya); 5. Poland 42.65;
6. Cuba 43.17 (Laura Moreira, Enis M. Pérez, Yarima García, Yunisleidy García); 7. Hungary 43.38 NR (Gréta Kerekes, Jusztina Csóti, Boglárka Takács, Anna Kocsis); 8. Brazil 43.46 (Gabriela Mourão, Vitoria Cristina Rosa, Ana Carolina Azevedo, Rosângela Santos);… dnf—Nigeria.