Elaine Thompson’s quest for a third gold medal was disrupted last night as Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team had to settle for silver in a season’s best 41.36 seconds here at the Olympic Stadium.
The United States of America (USA) spoiled the party with a splendid 41.01 seconds run which was just outside of their world record of 40.82 seconds established four years ago at the 2012 London Olympics. The USA, who only qualified for the final at the second attempt after dropping their baton in the first round on Thursday, have now registered the second-fastest time in history. Jamaica’s Caribbean neighbour’s Trinidad and Tobago were fifth in 42.12 seconds.
Great Britain won the bronze in a new national record of 41.77 seconds, with Germany fourth with 42.10 seconds.
Thompson, who won the 100m and the 200m, was rested for the heat on Thursday, but returned for the final and ran the second leg. The race was started by Christania Williams, with Veronica Campbell Brown on the third leg and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce anchoring.
The USA, with Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner, and Tori Bowie, running out of the difficult lane one were never headed and made up the stagger on all the teams, and with Bowie receiving the baton way ahead, Fraser-Pryce had too much to do.
“We wanted Elaine to get the third gold medal, but some things work according to God’s will, and we have to give God thanks. It’s an honour to come together as a team and represent the country,” said Fraser-Pryce, just moments after cheering Usain Bolt and company to victory in the mixed zone.
“A couple months ago I didn’t think I would be here, but I got the chance to run with the ladies, got a silver medal, and we have to give God thanks, because at the end of the day so many persons train to come to the Olympics and they don’t even get to the finals,” she emphasised.
“I know Jamaicans are spoilt right now, because they are used to so many medals, and this one is special because we did our best tonight,” she added.
Campbell Brown, who won a 4x100m gold as an 18-year-old in 2000, picked up yet another medal to her impressive collection.
“I have to give God thanks. A lot people leaving here and they don’t earn anything, so I have to be grateful with what we achieved here,” she said.
“I think we did well; the baton passes, I think, we were all clean, and we did our best. We were going for the gold, but we fell short, but we will be going for it again as you know we never give up. Next year we will go for it,” she assured.
It was Jamaica’s eighth medal of these Olympic Games and the only silver to add to five gold and two bronze.