We are back! – Jamaica Observer

Jamaican Ackeem Blake runs the first leg of the men’s 4x100m relay final at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on August 26, 2023. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Jamaica will return to the World Athletics Relays when the sixth staging kicks off at Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas, and despite the absence of some of the island’s top athletes, there is cautious optimism that the mostly younger athletes will rise to the occasion to manage .

The action in the two-day global relay showpiece starts this afternoon.

Much will depend on the results this weekend, as good performances will be rewarded with points for qualification and placement in preferred lanes at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The likes of World Championships gold medalists Shericka Jackson and Antonio Watson, as well as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Rohan Watson, have opted to miss the global event, while a number of others, including Stacey Ann Williams and Kemba Nelson, who were initially named , have now withdrawn.

Jamaica was not present at the most recent stage, in Silesia, Poland in 2021, but had won at least two medals in the other four stages: three in the Bahamas and the other in Yokohama, Japan. They won gold medals in 2014, 2015 and 2017 in the Bahamas.

According to World Athletics, “A total of 32 teams are registered for the men’s 4x100m and 30 for the women’s 4x100m. There will also be 32 teams for the men’s 4x400m, 27 for the women’s 4x400m and 30 for the mixed 4x400m.”

Jamaicans will line up in the preliminaries of the mixed 4x400m relays, the women’s and men’s 4x100m and the 4x400m events, hoping to advance to the semi-finals and finals scheduled for Sunday.

In addition, organizers have included similar relays for junior athletes, and Jamaica is expected to be represented in all three relays.

The country’s build-up to the World Relays was not exactly spectacular. Jamaica won just one relay last weekend during the 128th running of the Penn Relays Carnival. The men’s 4x100m won in a pedestrian 39.59 seconds, racing against just one national team, Ghana, and four club teams.

The Jamaican women’s 4x100m team was defeated by Spain, and the men’s 4x400m team ran 3:07.54 minutes to finish third behind Portugal and Spain.

Jamaicans have only won a bronze medal in the mixed relay event that was first contested in the 2017 staging. This time they will be represented by perhaps the strongest pool named by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association: Sean Bailey, Karayme Bartley , Tovea Jenkins, Roneisha McGregor, Janieve Russell and Assinie Wilson.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell competes in the women’s 4x400m relay final during the World Championships at the National Athletics Center in Budapest, Hungary, on August 27, 2023. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

The men’s 4x100m team consists of Ackeem Blake, Ryiem Forde, Kadrian Goldson, Bryan Levell, Odaine McPherson and Sandrey Davison. The latter was a late addition after the team was anchored at the Penn Relays.

The men’s 4x400m team consists of Zandrion Barnes, Bartley, Roshawn Clarke, Anthony Cox, Demish Gaye, Malik James-King, Rusheen McDonald and Wilson.

On the women’s side, the 4x100m consists of Remona Burchell, Tia Clayton, Yanique Dayle, Mickaell Moodie, Natasha Morrison, Alana Reid and Jodean Williams, while the 4x400m pool features Leah Anderson, Junelle Bromfield, Tovea Jenkins, Roneisha McGregor and Janieve Russell. , Ashley Williams and Charokee Young.