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World Champs Women’s 4 x 100 — Team USA Defends

World Champs Women’s 4 x 100 — Team USA Defends

For the third time in event history, the United States scored a repeat victory — following back-to-back wins in ’95–97 and ’05–07. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

THE STARS WERE aligning for the US when they called upon two individual medalists to add some punch to an already formidable squad that produced 41.59 in the heats. Jamaica, too, added spice to its heat lineup with the addition of the 200 champion, but the news was not so cheery for Team GB, as they were unable to add the extra firepower they needed to their arsenal.

Coming in the fastest from the heats, the U.S. lined up in lane 6. Jamaica, the winner of heat I, was just outside in 7, with Britain in 8 and Switzerland in 9. The inner lanes were Germany 1, Netherlands 2, Poland 3, Italy 4 and Côte d’Ivoire 5.

The Americans were repped by Tamari Davis, TeeTee Terry, 200 silver medalist Gabby Thomas and 100 champ Sha’Carri Richardson. Jamaica’s lineup included Natasha Morrison, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shashalee Forbes and 200 champ Shericka Jackson. GB had Asha Philip, Imani Lansiquot, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita, but noticeably absent was Dina Asher-Smith, due to an injury issue.

Leadoff Leg: Davis was out quick, but so too was Morrison, who had a much cleaner exchange to SAFP than Davis did to Terry. Philip had a great start for Britain and held her own against Morrison on her inside, but her pass to Lansiquot was not fluid and they lost ground.

Second Leg: Terry, who anchored last year’s gold-winning team, held her own and more, as she ran down Fraser-Pryce and brought the Americans even with Jamaica, who had already made up the stagger on GB in 8. It was subsequently reported that Fraser-Pryce had incurred a minor leg strain during her carry.

Third Leg: The US had another rocky moment as Thomas left a bit early and it took Terry an extra stride to get the stick in her hand, but the exchange was clean as the Fraser-Pryce to Forbes pass put the marginally ahead.

Thomas’s leg was superb. She used her speed and turn expertise to give Richardson a 2-meter lead heading for home.

Anchor Leg: After Jackson had run away from everyone in the 200 the night before, many thought she might reel Richardson in, but that was not the case. The American did not yield and brought it home in a championship record 41.03, the No. 4 all-time performance, ahead of Jamaica’s 41.21.

Britain claimed the bronze in 41.97, well ahead of Italy’s 42.49.

Davis, who led off the US charge,…

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