'We wanted world record' - relay team disappointed to miss out on all-time mark, thrilled to get gold for Jamaica Independence Day

By Sports Desk August 06, 2021

Jamaica Women’s 4x100m relay team admits it was a disappointment to miss out on breaking the event’s world record but were nonetheless happy to give their nation a gift on its Independence Day.

The quartet of Briana Williams, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson captured the gold medal with a new national record of 41.02.  The time narrowly eclipsed the previous mark of 41.07, set at the 2008 Beijing Games, but was some way short of the 40.82 set by the USA in 2012.  The time was, however, the third-fastest ever run over the distance.

Even with the threat of the US, the quartet used safe changes for most of the race, with the bigger target clearly being the gold medal.  Despite, dominating the 100m sprints for over a decade, the gold medal was the first for the Jamaica women’s team since Athens 2004.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we did manage to get the stick around.  We didn’t get the world record, but we got a national record on Independence Day, what more could you ask for,” Thompson-Herah, who added a third gold medal for the Games, said following the event.

Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medallist, backed up the notion.

“It was good, as an elite athlete or a senior athlete, I was just ready to make sure we took the opportunity and took the stick around and we got a national record.  We wanted a world record, but we also wanted Elaine to get the three gold medals because the last Olympics she missed it and now we have it,” Fraser-Pryce said.

The Jamaicans had taken silver behind the USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the last time Thompson had been in a position to claim three gold medals after winning the 100m and 200m.

The relay gold was, however, also the first for Fraser-Pryce, who saw the team she was part of at the 2008 Olympics fail to get the baton around the track and also being a part of quartets that finished second in both 2012 and 2016.

Williams was participating in her first Olympics, while Jackson who got a 4x400m silver in 2016 has only just started to take part in the sprints.

 

 

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    They are set to return to the St George’s No.1 Magistrates Court on Wednesday facing the possibility of a maximum five-year prison sentence and hefty fines.

    Mikhail John, a 35-year-old sailor, John Alexander, a 55-year-old deckhand, Noel Cooper, 42, the captain of the Harbour Master party boat, and Sheon Jack, a 28-year-old sailor, all pleaded guilty to charges of grievous harm against Anderson Peters and his brother Kiddon.

    Prosecutors dropped the charges against 40-year-old Abiola Benjamin after a review of a video of the incident showed he was trying to separate the men involved in the altercation in which Peters suffered injuries to his ankle, elbow and face and was thrown overboard.

    Meanwhile, 45-year-old sailor Lance Wiggins pleaded not guilty to the charges and was eventually released after prosecutors decided that the evidence against him was insufficient to bring about a successful prosecution.

    Peters, 24, was involved in a brawl aboard the Harbour Master on the night of Wednesday, August 10. Video of the incident showed several men attacking and punching Peters, who had travelled home for a brief vacation after winning the silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England a few days prior.

    His coach Paul Phillip said the two-time world champion suffered from what appeared to be an ankle sprain as well as bruises to his elbow, neck and face, which put his participation in the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on August 26 in doubt.

    In a statement released on the weekend, the captain of the Harbour Master claimed that it was Peters who was the aggressor and is what triggered the beat-down the elite athlete suffered.

    Peters and his brother were in court Monday and were seated behind the six suspects. Reports indicate that Peters and his brother have retained the services of attorney Derick Sylvester with a view to filing a civil suit against the guilty.

     

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