Canada’s disappointment in the men’s 4x100m relay turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the team rallied round to hand a shock defeat to the USA and Jamaica in the 4x200m on Day 2 of the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas.
Earlier in the day, Canada secured their spot in the final by finishing ahead of Jamaica (1:22.01) in Heat 1 with a time of 1:21.11, with Gavin Smellie running the take-off leg, while Brendon Rodney followed. Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown ran the third and anchor legs respectively.
Perhaps this was just the good luck charm they needed as the sprinters maintained the same positions in the final while engaged in a battle for superiority with USA’s quartet of Noah Lyles, Jarrion Lawson, Isiah Young and Ameer Webb, and the Jamaican team comprising Nickel Ashmeade, Oshane Bailey, Rasheed Dwyer and Yohan Blake.
Canada withstood the threat posed by the sprint powerhouses, sprinting to a World Lead (WL) of 1:19.42 as the US returned a Season’s Best (SB) of 1:19.88 to scoop Silver. Jamaica settled for Bronze in an SB of 1:21.09 while Trinidad and Tobago bagged a National Record (NR) of 1:21.39 in 4th place.
Anchor-leg runner Brown was pleased with the team’s performance. He said: “It did not go well yesterday but I’m glad we were able to break the curse, get the monkey off our backs and show the world what we are able to do in the relays.”
Meanwhile host nation the Bahamas finally had a reason to smile as they ended the championship on a high after winning the last event of the day, the 4x400m Mixed Relays ahead of the US.
Quartermiler Steven Gardiner and Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo built the momentum for the team, with Anthonique Strachan and Michael Mathieu consolidating on their efforts to cross the finishing line in 3:14.42.
The US team was represented by Michael Berry, Jaide Stepter, Paul Dedewo and Claudia Francis, and won Silver with a time of 3:17.29. Jamaica was 3rd with 3:20.26.