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American Women Finished with Gold, while the Men Ran for Silver
By: Max Liu
The 4x100 meter relay is one of the most thrilling kinds of races you’ll ever see in track and field. The blind handoffs require lots of precision, so spectators never know what might happen in the races.
On Saturday night, in Eugene, Oregon, the 4x100 medal races were held at the World Athletics Championships.
In the women’s races, the team of Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini, and Twanisha Terry won, hitting a final straightaway for a title-winning time of 41.14 seconds, the third fastest time in history.
This win was a surprise because Jamacia, which swept the medals in the 100 meters and won gold and silver in the 200, was considered the obvious favorite in the race. Instead, Kemba Nelson to Elaine Thompson-Herah meant Thompson-Herah had to slow down a bit to make sure they competed for their handoff, and they ended up second.
“You could have the four fastest women, but if you don’t have chemistry and the baton doesn’t move through the exchange zone, then what are you doing?” Terry said.
In the men’s races, the team of Christian Coleman, Noah Lyles, Elijah Hall Oxford, and Marvin Bracy finished the race second, with a silver medal. The race was going smoothly at first, Coleman handed it off to Lyles, then Lyles pushed forward and got the lead, at which he passed the baton on to Elijah Hall. Hall then proceeded to keep the team in front, but unfortunately, he fell over after making the pass to Bracy, costing the team valuable time that Canada capitalized on to win the gold.
Khris Rhim from NY times reported: “The U.S. relay, which has been highly maligned in recent years for errors at the top levels, was running without 100-meter world champion Fred Kerley, who suffered an injury in the 200-meter preliminary heats. But the relay still featured four of the ten fastest men in the world this year, and they were expected to take the gold.”
“It’s bittersweet,” Bracy said. “When you sweep the 100 and the 200, you expect to come out here and perform better.”