|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
September 30, 2000
Bahamas take the gold, Marion misses another beatThe Rediff Team
Stand by for a cliche: All the natural talent in the world is worth zip in a team event. As witness Marion Jones, arguably the greatest short sprinter in the women's world.
Jones ran an amazing last lap of the 4x100 metres relay on Saturday afternoon. She was lying joint seventh when she got the baton -- when she took the US home in 42.20 seconds, she had pulled up to third place and was about a stride and a half of overtaking Jamaica.
Magnificient -- and magnificiently pointless. For the USA lost the race before it was half-run. The first baton change was slow, the second was shockingly so. At the start of the third lap, thus, the USA were truly out of it. Never mind Marion Jones -- they could have had Maurice Greene running that last 100 metres, and he wouldn't have made one damn bit of difference to the outcome.
This was a start to finish race for the Bahamas, who came home in 41.96 (world record: 41.37). Their well-drilled quartet ran the smoothest relay you ever want to see, brilliant changeovers and uninterrupted speed being their hallmarks.
Their lineup was interesting -- Sevatheda Fynes, Chandra Sturrup, Pauline Davis-Thompson and Debbie Ferguson, in that order. Three of those girls are in the top 16 list -- but what was interesting was the shuffling of their order. Thus far, they had Pauline Davis, the silver medallist behind Marion running the final lap. This time round, Pauline was brought in third -- a very obvious and, as it turned out, successful bid to open up a huge lead over the US and ensure that Marion, sprint though she might in the final lap, would have too much distance to cover.
The US lined up Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Marion Jones in that order, and it was in the first two changeovers that they lost the race -- which come to think of it is interesting, because those two girls are in the team only for the relays and you would therefore expect them to be better drilled than Perry and Jones, who also do the individual sprints. And to add to the US woes, neither Gail Devers, nor the 200m world champion Inger Miller, was available through injury.
Jamaica (silver, in 42.13) lined up Tanya Lawrence, Veronica Campbell, Beverly McDonald and Merlene Ottey, and had the foot speed, especially with Ottey returning to join the other three (Jamaica thus had four sprinters in the world's top 16).
Following the medallists, were France, Russia, Germany, Nigeria and China.
Meanwhile, on the scoreboard, two golds and two bronzes for Marion Jones.
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK