Jamaica Needs to Maximize Its Relay Line-ups If They Want to Win

The Jamaican flag continues to fly at the London World Championships in Athletics London despite the fact that the sprint powerhouse has not medaled in some major events it has dominated for several years or in which it has been a formidable force for decades.

All is not lost though, thanks to Omar McLeod who copped a decisive victory in the sprint hurdles and Ristannana Tracy, who snatched bronze in the women’s 400m hurdles. While Jamaica may be unhappy with the downturn of a trend that has been going since 2008, its fans are hopeful that a gold rush will happen in these final two days when the relay teams take to the track.

The qualifying-round men’s 4x100m team won their heat as Tyquendo Tracey to Julian Forte to Michael Campbell to Usain Bolt registered 37.95, and although the Jamaicans didn’t soar high in the 100m dash, I will go out on a limb to say Jamaica can take both the men’s and women’s 4×100 and women’s 4×400 teams should be victorious in the final. A serious mistaken in the men’s 4×4 cost them qualification.

On paper, man for man, Jamaica is better, and if the 4×1 is set up with the right personnel in the right order, gold should be theirs.

Crucial here though is that the baton must be passed at the end of the zone so as to ensure greater momentum during the exchange and establish an edge over the field. The best lineup for the men’s final should be sprint hurdler gold medalist Omar McLeod who is a bullet from the blocks) to Bolt to Yohan Blake (if he’s fit) and to Julian Forte. If Blake isn’t fit, Forte should be put on third and bring in Tracy to anchor.

In the women’s case, Simone Facey (known for her aggressive start) should lead off to Elaine Thompson, adept at the sprint double, to Sashalee Forbes to Natasha Morrison on anchor.

If the Jamaicans want to win, they must quickly put themselves in the lead, which should allow the anchors to hold on for the 90 meters they will run. Both these anchors are quite capable to doing so.

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