Men 4 x 100 metres Relay Heats
Seven teams lined up at the start of the first heat, but it was really a two horse race – or rather a Caribbean challenge, with two of the favourites for gold facing off in a preview of what could be the final of tomorrow.
With Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in the race and Usain Bolt and Darrel Brown running anchor for those teams, there had to be fireworks and there were.
Trinidad and Tobago were slightly prejudiced at the start, as Chevon Simpson running the first leg stumbled momentarily coming off the blocks, but he recovered well and made a smooth handover to Marc Burns. In the Jamaican camp, It was Winston Hutton handing over to Orio Nicely.
The two teams were level as the batons changed hands and progressed up the track to hand over to Kevon Holder for Trinidad and Yhann Plummer for Jamaica, Nicely seemed to have lost a couple of strides on Burns, but once Plummer had the baton he streaked off catching Holder and was the first to pass on the baton to anchor Usain Bolt.
The Americans also exchanged smoothly and Darrel Brown was away in hot pursuit. But Bolt had a metre’s advantage and was not going to relinquish that, crossing the line in a world leading 39.38 seconds, with Trindad finishing just behind in a national junior record time of 39.50.
Also finishing well behind Brown was France’s Idrissa M’Barke, anchoring a French squad of Cyril Bapte, David Alerte and Cedrick Audel to qualification as one of the next fastest finishers with a time of 39.93.
In fourth Pplace, Italy also qualified with Lorenzo La Naia, Alessandro Rocco, Andrew Howe Besozzi and Sergio Riva timed at 40.16.
The World Leading Junior time was not to stand for long however.
Lining up for heat two were the United States team of Ashton Collins, Wes Felix, Ivory Williams and Willie Hordge and against them Brazil – Elieezer De Almeida, Bruno de Alcantara Goes, Jorge Celio Sena and Bruno Nacimento Pacheco -, Germany –Marius Broening Sebastian Ernst, David Dylus and Till Helmke-, and Japan – Ryosuke Igumi, Shinji Takahira, Yusuke Nii and Kazuteru Matsumoto.
The Japanese were off to the fastest start and at the first handover, Takahira was away two strides before Wes Felix for the USA and Bruno Goes for Brazil.
Takahira held the lead to the next exchange zone, but then Williams was away, with Nii and Dylus in hot pursuit.
For the final exchange, Williams was now well in advance of Sena and Nii, made a clean handover to Hordge and Hordge hit the gas and was off down the finishing straight with a clear lead over Pacheco, now in second position and Matsumoto.
Maintaining his speed through the finish, Hordge was timed at a new world junior leading time of 39.18, with Brazil second in 39.75 and Japan just holding off the strong German finish to take third in 39.85. Both Japan and Germany (39.85) also go through to the final.