Gatlin trumps Grasse at World Relays

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Apr 2017 09:57:08

NASSAU (Bahamas),

EVERGREEN American sprinter Justin Gatlin struck gold when he anchored his team to victory at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, while double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson shone for Jamaica.

The battle between Gatlin, the 35-year-old 2004 Olympic 100m champion who has served two doping bans, and Usain Bolt’s self-professed successor Andre de Grasse did not play out, the Canadian deprived of the chance to run his leg after a botched handover by his team-mates.

De Grasse, a three-time medallist at the Rio Olympics, had cocked his head over towards Gatlin three times before turning on the afterburners to edge the American in the heats.
But there was to be no showboating come the final at a breezy, half-full Thomas A. Robinson stadium as Aaron Brown fluffed his handover to Brendon Rodney.

The US were not out of danger, however, with Britain looking to be ahead as Gatlin took the baton from Ronnie Baker after slick passovers between Leshon Collins and Mike Rodgers.
But Englishman Danny Talbot failed to hit his mark and Gatlin had a free run in for 38.43sec, eyes glued on the big screen in near bewilderment as Barbados took silver at a distant 39.12 and China bronze (39.22).

Thompson, who won double gold in Rio last year, was afforded a rousing welcome as she safely led her Jamaican team-mates to victory in the women’s 4x200m.

The 24-year-old anchored her team also including Jura Levy, Shericka Jackson and Sashalee Forbes home in a championship record of 1min 29.04sec, Germany (1:30.68) snatching silver from the United States by 0.21.