My second entry of the Rio 2016 Olympics focuses on the traditionally final event of the Track & Field events(sometimes in tandem with the marathon), the Men’s 4 x 100 metres Relay. I will in due course review the 100, 200 and 400 metres contenders/champions of both Women and Men. However , for me over these decades as a Track & Field fan there’s a certain majesty of the team effort of blistering speed around the 400 metres track.The current champions and World Record holders are the Jamaicans.36.84 seconds.The venue was the London 2012 Olympics.Exactly 4 years ago this August.
The names in Track sprint history are Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and the Big Man on anchor, Usain Bolt. What drama has erupted since 2008 when in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest the showy Jamaican won 3 gold medals, capped by the 4×100 meters anchor, officially dislodging the Americans who had dominated Sprints for decades. We all know of Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics. Then Jamaica was a British colony , looking to United Kingdom to win Gold at Hitler’s Berlin propaganda fest.
The normally dominant Americans have been plagued with doping controversy , but more traumatic , chronic failed baton exchanges . Since this footage shown, The Jamaicans won the event back in Beijing for the IAAF 2015 championships, when the US team passed baton too late on the anchor exchange.The Jamaicans’ anchored once more by Bolt did a decent 37.37 seconds. Can either USA or Jamaica best 36.84 secs?
Often when a dominant sprinter such as then Jamaica’s Donald Quarrie, Trinidad & Tobago’s Hasely Crawford, and Russia’s Valery Borzov are winning , they lack a matching sprint team to contend for Relay Gold. Usain Bolt has been spared this and these days its the Americans worrying about their team’s cohesion to get the baton to the finish line . Jamaican speed merchants on every leg increases the pressure. Fiyah, Pure Fiyah.