The American women’s 4x100m created a surprise. The American men’s 4x100m got angry.
The penultimate day of the world athletics championships produced surprises in the last two races on Saturday evening’s programme.
Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini and TeeTee Terry stunned a quartet of Jamaican women that included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who swept the individual medals in the 100m. The United States won by four hundredths in 41.14 seconds.
Jefferson had the best split of lead runners, then Steiner edged Thompson-Herah by 0.24, enough for Prandini and Terry to hold Fraser-Pryce and Jackson’s charge.
“[If] there’s no chemistry, there’s no trust to be able to pass the baton through the exchanges, so you’re not really going to produce what you think you can produce just because you have all three or four fastest women,” said Terry. “Our chemistry was so good that we didn’t even really need to do much when we warmed up.”
Twenty minutes later, Christian Colman, Noah Lyles, Elie Room and Marvin Bracy-Williams delivered silver rather than the expected gold. Canada, which won the men’s 4x100m at the last world championship held in the United States at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, edged the Americans by seven hundredths with Andre of Grasse anchoring.
USA had below-average transfers from Coleman to Lyles and even more from Hall to Bracy-Williams on the anchor.
The United States was without Fred Kerleywho won the 100m individual last Saturday in an American medal sweep, then suffered a quad injury in the 200m semifinal.
The United States is the greatest sprinting nation in history, but it has won gold medals in the 4x100m at only one world championship (Olympic or World Games) in the last 29 years (22 competitions ).
“A lot of people see that [silver] like a loss, but to be honest with the struggles we’ve had over the years, it’s just nice to have the stick, to run a fast time,” said Lyles, who was on the 2019 4x100m that has won American men the only gold since 2007.
The Worlds end on Sunday with nine finals, including the women’s 800m (AthingMu) and 100m hurdles (Ken Harrison), men’s pole vault (Mondo Duplantis) and final of the decathlon and 4x400m relay.
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Earlier Saturday, Allyson Felix made a surprise comeback to help the US women’s 4x400m relay advance to Sunday’s final. Felix, who thought last week’s mixed 4x400m would be his last major race before retiring, was called up from Los Angeles (while eating hot wings and drinking a root beer float) to return to Eugene for the heats. women’s 4x400m.
Felix, who finished sixth at the national championships in the 400m individual, had the fastest split of the four American women in the heat, but said she didn’t expect to be asked to make the final four. Expect gold and bronze medalists in the 400m hurdles Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad to be replaced. Felix would still be in contention for a record 20th career world championship medal, as preliminary runners also receive medals.
Gudaf Tsegay gave Ethiopia a sweep in the women’s 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at the world championships, winning the 5,000m five days after winning silver in the 1,500m and then being replaced in the national squad for the 5000m. She passed the Olympic gold medalist Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands approaching the final curve. Hassan fainted in sixth place, one place behind the world record holder Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia. On Her Turf has more on the women’s 5000m here.
kenyan Emmanuel Korir followed his Tokyo Olympic gold medal with a world title in the 800m Korir overtook the Canadian Marco Arop in the final straight. Algerian Djamel Sedjati also passed Arop for the money. No American reached the final.
Like Korir, triple jump Pierre Paul Pichardo of Portugal added a world title to their Olympic gold medal. No American has won a medal in this event for the first time since 2009.
Grenada javelin thrower Anderson Peterswho started throwing rocks at mango trees as a child, repeated as world champion.
Olympic decathlon champion Damien Warner of Canada withdrew with a left leg injury in the 400m, the fifth and final event of the first of two days of competition. Warner was leading the overall standings. Ayden Owens-Delerme Puerto Rico, the NCAA champion from Michigan, took the lead in the last five events on Sunday.
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