Powerhouse 4x200m women's team lead Jamaica's hopes today

Sunday, May 12, 2019

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Jamaica's powerhouse 4X200m women's team will lead the country's medal charge on today's second and final day of the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan.

Jamaica are so far down to compete in five finals with the men's 4X200m team seeking to add to that when they contest the heats, which will open the cards at 4:31 am Jamaica time.

The team will run out of lane three in heat one, which also includes the likes of United States, Bahamas and France, while the women's event will be a straight final.

Double-Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson, who anchored the women's team to gold in a competition record of 1:29.04 two years ago, is back to offer a strong hand in the push for gold.

She is expected to run the first leg for the team that has been bolstered by the presence of multiple World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, as the Jamaican quartet aims to go quicker than they did in 2017.

“Let's see what happens after the heats. We have a strong team, we're looking forward to a good race and hopefully we'll break the record,” said Thompson.

Fraser-Pryce is also eager to go, though revealing that they only recently came together to practise as a team.

“We actually practised this morning. We're still using blind exchanges, but in the 4x200m you have some leeway compared to the 4x100m. This (yesterday) morning went well, so we're look forward to the heats and finals,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Jamaica had a series of mixed performances on yesterday's opening day, when the shuttle hurdles relay team easily progressed to the final by winning their heat.

The team of Amoi Brown, Andrew Riley, Meagan Tapper and Ronald Levy, clocked 55.47 to set up a final with the United States, who won heat two in 55.09.

However, the Jamaicans failed to turn up for the start to the final, leaving the Americans to land gold in 54.96 ahead of Japan in 55.59, as Australia false-started in the three-team event.

Both 4X400m teams also secured paths to the final after finishing second in their respective heats in season best times. The women's team clocked 3:28.80 behind Canada (3:28.75) in heat three, while the male team clocked 3:02.67 behind United States (3:02.06) in heat one of their event.

The women's final will be headlined by the Americans who clocked a world-leading 3:25.72, with Italy, France, Poland, Great Britain and Switzerland also set to line up.

In the men's event, Jamaica and United States will be joined by South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, and Belgium.

Jamaica's 4X100m men's team progressed to the final as one of the fastest losers after finishing third in their heat in 38.51, behind Great Britain, who clocked a world-leading of 38.11.

The Jamaican team will start the finals in lane three with United States, Italy, Brazil, France, China, and Turkey also in the mix.

Meanwhile, the women's team with Jonielle Smith on anchor, finished second in their heat behind Germany (43.03) to book a spot in the final, where the Americans will start favourites following their world-leading 42.51-clocking in heat one. Brazil, Denmark and Ghana are also set to line up in the final.

Despite clocking a new national record of 3:18.47, Jamaica's 4X400m mixed team failed to progress to the final after finishing third in their heat behind Belgium, who also clocked a national record 3:18.03.

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