Men 4 x 400 metres Relay Final
With the Jamaican women’s team finishing our of the medal’s it was down to the Jamaican men to save the hosts’ honour in the final event of this 9th edition of the IAAF/Coca Cola World Junior Championships.
And the though they did not win, the Reggae boys gave a great display of courage to take a hard-earned silver and save the day with a national junior record.
Running for the hosts in the first leg, Sekou Clarke got off well in a well balanced field that included Kenneth Ferguson of the USA, Fujio Yamauchi for Japan and Miroslaw Sadej for Poland.
Coming up for the first exchange, Jamaica and the USA held a slight lead over the rest of the teams and Usain Bolt for Jamaica and Darold Williamson got away well. But as the leg progressed and the runners were able to fall out of their lanes, it became obvious that the young Jamaican giant had already given most of what he had to give in the earlier 4 x 100 relay, where he had run Jamaica’s anchor leg.
Coming up to the third exchange Williamson held a three metre lead and the Americans had a cleaner exchange as Williamson handed over to Ashton Collins.
Jermaine Myers took the stick from Bolt and was off in hot pursuit, followed by Yuki Yamaguchi (JPN) and Daniel Mazurek (POL).
But for the roaring crowd this was a two horse race as the US and Jamaica battled it out on the straight to the last exchange.
Last leg runner Jonathan Fortenberry for the US took the baton and was away with a 7-8 metre headstart on the Jamaican anchor Jermaine Gonzales, who try as he may was unable to make it back to the American, despite closing the US lead down to 4 metres as Fortenberry crossed the line in 3:03.71. Gonzales finished for Jamaica in a national junior record time of 3:04.06 and Yosuke Inoue came in third for Japan in an Asian junior record of 3:05.80.
In 5th position, the French team recorded a national junior record time of 3:07.26.