Stuart Weir writes about the sprint relays in Yokohama in this column on day 2 of the 2019 IAAF World Relays.
Brazil were the surprise winners of the men’s 4 by 100m relay in a time of 38.05. The US team of Michael Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Isaih Young and Noah Lyles were second in 38.07 with Great Britain – with three of their 2017 World Champions running third. Lyles was closing on Paulo Andre Camilo de Oliveira with every stride but the finish line came too soon.
Camilo de Oliveira said afterwards: “We concentrated on this competition and trained a lot. Today is big night, but we have to work hard for Doha and Tokyo. We have time to train for that. We are the new generation”. De Oliveira also said: “The Brazilian soccer team defeated UK here before so the stadium is special”. Brazil did win a World Cup game in 2002 but it was against England not UK and it was in Shizuoka not Yokohama – perhaps something was lost in translation!
For Team USA, Justin Gatlin commented: “We have so many talents we brought into a team. Some of the best chemistry I have ever seen. It’s refreshing to see that these guys come out and compete, and perform together”. The GB squad reminded the media that they had performed badly in the World Relays in 2017 and then went on to win the 2017 World Championships. See you in Doha.
In the women’s 4x100m the gap between USA and Jamaica was 0.02 seconds with USA winning in 43.27, winning for the first time since the inaugural edition in 2014. The 2019 Jamaican team included multi medallists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson but they ran the 200 relay instead.
And staying with the men’s 4 by 100 meters relay there was a medal reallocation ceremony from the 2008 Olympics the Japanese quartet of Naoki Tsukahara, Shingo Suetsugu, Shinji Takahira and Nobuharu Asahara receiving the silver medal after being elevated to second place after Jamaica’s disqualification.