Individual 100m champion Jeneba Tarmoh set her team-mates on the right path towards winning the women’s 4x100m gold on day five at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Tarmoh took a blistering start and handed the baton clearly in the lead, a position the American quartet would not relinquish until the line. Anchor leg runner Tiffany Townsend who was a disappointing fifth in the individual 200m was timed in a World Junior leading 43.66 well clear of Jamaica’s Jura Levy who stopped the clock at 43.98.
It took a photo finish reading to determine the bronze medal winners as Brazil and Bahamas were given the same time of 44.61, the South Americans eventually prevailing over the Caribbean representatives.
The US and Bahamas adopted the same tactics as they chose to line-up their fastest runner in first. However, Sheniqua Ferguson who won the 200m gold medal was overshadowed by Tarmoh and the Bahamians didn’t start as well as they would have hoped to.
100m finalist Shayla Mahan took over from Tarmoh and ran a smooth leg as in lane 3 Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Meritzer Williams, the individual silver medallist at 200, was working hard to try and recover from a disastrous handover.
The Jamaicans marginally closed the gap in the final bend as Gayon Evans ran arguably the best leg for the islanders. However, the US maintained a two-metres lead with a better handover and Townsend was never challenged by Jamaica’s anchor and individual 200 finalist Jura Levy.
The Brazilians owe a big thank you to their anchor leg Rosangela Santos, the World Youth silver medallist and fourth at 100m here in Bydgoszcz, who despite taking the baton down in fifth position, ran the race of her life to out-dip Nivea Smith by the smallest of margins.
Interestingly the Caribbean nations qualified no fewer than four countries for the final of the women’s 4x100 reflecting the 200m individual podium but only Jamaica managed to step on the podium as Saint Kitts and Nevis and Barabdos finished respectively sixth and seventh.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF