The 2013 World 100m gold medalist, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, grabbed another medal, the first of two for Jamaica today, the seventh day of competition at the Moscow IAAF World Championships, by winning the women’s 200m in 21.17secs. In less than two hours, the Jamaican men turned in a gutsy performance to take mile relay silver.
Fraser-Pryce, also the reigning Olympic 100m champion and 200m silver medalist, entered the race as the hot favorite, even though some pundits believed the presence of the USA’s Allyson Felix (on her left) and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare and the Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure (on her right) posed big threats.
The so-called pocket-rocket bolted from the blocks and led her rivals into the straight. But as the long-legged Okagbare and Ahoure tried to close, Fraser-Pryce had enough distance between them to secure a win, her first 200m title on the World stage.
Meanwhile, Allyson Felix hobbled and dropped to the ground in pain before she finished the curb and had to be carried off the track. It was later announced that she had torn her medial right hamstring.
About an hour and 50 minutes after the women’s 200m race, Javon Francis ran a scorching anchor leg to take silver for Jamaica in the men's 4x400m final. The 18-yr-old schoolboy got the baton in fifth position and hurriedly began passing his rivals to find himself in second place and chasing the World champion Lashawn Merrit of the USA down the homestretch. However, the gap was too wide for him to close before Merritt got to the line in a world leading 2 mins, 58.71secs. Francis crossed the line in a season best (SB) for Jamaica of 2:59.90, just holding off Russia in their SB of 2:59.90.
In the qualifying rounds, Francis also anchored Jamaica and showed signs of what he was capable of doing against world-class athletes, when he caught and passed the British anchor and held on for the win in a world leading 3:00.41. Great Britain registered a SB 3:00.50.
Jamaica’s team in the final was comprised of lead-off Rusheen McDonald, Edino Steele, Omar Johnson and Francis. Johnson came in for national champion Javere Bell who was injured while running the preliminary race on Thursday.
Completing the field were Great Britain and Northern Ireland, fourth in 3:00.88; Belgium, fifth in 3:01.02; Trinidad and Tobago, sixth in 3:01.74; Brazil, seventh in 3:02.19; and Australia, eighth in 3:02.26.
In the morning, the women’s mile relay team of Rosemarie Whyte, Kaliese Spencer, Anastasia LeRoy and Christine Day clocked 3:25.25 for second behind Russia (3:23.51) and an automatic spot in the final. However, the team was later disqualified for a lane violation committed by Whyte on lead-off. Jamaica appealed the ruling but the Juror of Appeals upheld the disqualification