British relay teams rise to occasion to progress to finals

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 12, 2017

Sprint superstar Bolt will run his final race in the 4x100 relay in front of his adoring fans at the World Championships - before hitting the town.

Running the last leg, Bolt eased home, looking over his shoulder, as Jamaica won the second of the two semi-final heats in 37.95 seconds, ahead of France (38.03) and China (38.20). Bolt is not the one that was crushing everything in its path with chronos from elsewhere, but this outcome was finally like a relief to an athlete who has dedicated his life to his sport from a very young age.

This time, Bolt finished third in the 100-meter dash at world championships.

We dare not forget Mr Kemoy Campbell, who became the first Jamaican to qualify for the final of the men's 5,000-metre event at the World Championships.

The eight-time Olympic gold medalist finished third in a photo finish to runner-up Christian Coleman, and Gatlin on August 5 at London Stadium, site of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The women's squad of Dina Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, Desiree Henry and Daryll Neita qualified in a season's best of 41.93 seconds by finishing second, also behind the USA.

This enlightened attitude towards performance-enhancing drugs would have precluded the "scandals" that now threaten the professional careers of Tour de France Champion Floyd Landis and Olympic Champion Justin Gatlin (100m); to say nothing of sparing them worldwide ridicule as pathetic liars and cheaters. It was Bolt's last individual race and the first time someone outran him in the finals of a championship. In the lead-up to the race, one journalist had to gall to ask Bolt what would happen if he lost.

Bolt, who many had hoped to end his solo career with a 12 gold medal, fell short to the US' Justin Gatlin last Saturday.

But could fans handle it if we found, for example, that as charming as Bolt, the best known and most popular athlete in the world, is, he was no better than the majority of his Jamaican team-mates when it came to using drugs?

However, when it comes to competition, Bolt's presence surely brought about a sense of imbalance.

The relay heats are set for early Saturday. He did his routine marking of his starting position and did a few run-downs imitating baton exchange. As Bolt stretched for the finish line, he was grimacing, his mouth and eyes wide with effort. I don't think there's enough words to explain the journey and everything. I came out here and did my best.

"I did a lot of practice here in the past 10 days to break the national record. I worked hard, I'm definitely disappointed I didn't win, but no one is going to be happy to not win", said Bolt after the race.

Nearly all of Bolt's money comes from endorsements, including deals with Puma, Sprint, and Advil, Forbes says. We have been training that relay, there were some camps.

Indeed, it's noteworthy that Yohan Blake also ran in this fateful race, coming in fourth.

For me the whole event has been overshadowed by controversy, particularly over the drugs issue - a problem that's gone on for so many years now.

The four - the same line-up who won Team GB's first 4x100m relay bronze in 32 years in Rio last summer - crossed the line 0.09 seconds behind the United States of America, with Germany qualifying as third fastest. Whatever the case, I remarked on Bolt's guilt by association with his Jamaican teammates in "Drugs as Rampant in Track as in Cycling", July 16, 2013.

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