US pulls upset, gets upset in 4x100m relay on track worlds
The US women over 4 x 100 m caused a stir. The US men’s 4x100m caught on in excitement.
The penultimate day of the World Athletics Championships caused surprises in the last two races on Saturday evening.
Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini and Tea Tea Terry stunned a Jamaican female quartet that was included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the 100m individual medals. The USA prevailed in 41.14 seconds by four hundredths.
Jefferson had the best split of the leadoff runners, then Steiner passed Thompson-Herah by .24, enough for Prandini and Terry to fend off Fraser-Pryce and Jackson’s attack.
“[If] There’s no chemistry, there’s no confidence in moving the baton through the transitions, then you’re not really going to produce what you think you can produce just because you have the three or four fastest women,” Terry said. “Our chemistry was so good that we didn’t actually have to do much during the warm-up.”
twenty minutes later, Christian Kohlman, Noah Lyle, Elijah Hall and Marvin Bracy-Williams delivered silver rather than the expected gold. Canada, who won the men’s 4×100 at the last World Championships in the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, beat the Americans by seven hundredths Andre de Grasse Anchoring.
The US anchored underperforming deliveries from Coleman to Lyles and even more from Hall to Bracy-Williams.
The US was without Fred Kerleywho won the 100m singles in an American medal win last Saturday, then injured his quadriceps in the 200m semifinals.
The USA is the greatest sprinting nation in history, but has won gold in the 4 x 100m in just one global championship (Olympic Games or World Championships) in the last 29 years (22 events). It’s proof that relays aren’t won by brute speed alone.
“A lot of people see that [silver] as a loss but to be honest with the struggles we’ve had over the years it’s just nice to get the racquet around and run a fast time,” said Lyles, who stood in the 4x100m in 2019. which brought the US men the singles gold since 2007.
The worlds end on Sunday with nine finals including the women’s 800m (Athen Mu) and 100m hurdles (Keni Harrison), men’s pole vault (Mondo Duplantis) and decathlon finals and 4x400m relay.
TRACK WORLDS: broadcast schedule | Results | US squad | key events
early saturday, Allyson Felix made a surprise return to help the US women’s 4x400m relay qualify for Sunday’s final. Felix, who thought last week’s 4×400 mixed race would be her last big race before retiring, was called from Los Angeles (while eating hot wings and sipping a root beer float) to compete in the 4×400 -Women’s runs to return to Eugene.
Felix, sixth at the national championships in the 400m individual, had the fastest split of the four American women in the run but said she doesn’t expect to be asked to be part of the final quartet. Expect gold and bronze medalists in the 400m hurdles Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad to be substituted. Felix would still be in line for a record-extending 20th career World Championships medal as forerunners also receive medals.
Gudaf Tsegay gave Ethiopia a victory in the women’s 5000m, 10,000m and marathon at Welten, winning the 5000m five days after winning silver in the 1500m and then being included in the nation’s 5000m line-up. She passed the Olympic gold medalist Sifan Hasan of the Netherlands coming around the last corner. Hassan dropped to sixth place, one place behind the world record holder Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia. On Her Turf has more to offer about the women’s 5000m here.
Kenyan Emmanuel Korir his Olympic gold in Tokyo was followed by a world title in the 800 m. Korir overtook the Canadian Marco Arop on the finishing line. Algerian Djamel Sedjati also passed Arop for silver. No American reached the final.
Like Korir, triple jumper Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Portugal added a world title to his Olympic gold. For the first time since 2009, no American has won a medal at the event.
Grenada javelin thrower Anderson Peterswho started throwing stones at mango trees as a child, repeated as world champion.
Olympic champion in decathlon Damian Warner from Canada competed with a left leg injury in the 400m, the fifth and final competition of the first of two days of competition. Warner was in the overall lead. Ayden Owens Delerme from Puerto Rico, the NCAA champion from Michigan took the lead in the last five events on Sunday.
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