NASSAU, BAHAMAS - APRIL 23: LaShawn Merritt of the USA and Karabo Sibanda of Botswana run to the finishline in the Men's 4x400 Metres Relay Final during the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017 at Thomas Robinson Stadium on April 23, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images for IAAF)

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NASSAU, Bahamas – Jamaica won one silver and four bronze medals and again missed collecting the overall top prize, the golden baton at the third edition of the IAAF World Relays #Bahamas2017.

In total with one gold, silver and four bronze medals, the team ended the two-day event on 39 points, well behind USA, 60.

Australia finished third with 24 points. Trinidad and Tobago were fifth with 17 points and Bahamas, winners of the first ever mixed 4x400m, ended ninth with 15.

In the much-anticipated mixed 4x400m relay, which host Bahamas was banking on to give them glory, things turned out wonderfully.

Steven Gardiner led off brilliantly on the all male opening leg. He handed over to Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who opened daylight against the ladies on her leg to give Anthonique Strachan a more than 10 metres lead, but Paul Dedewo of USA passed her coming into the homestretch.

However, the similar would have happened on the anchor leg as USA had Claudia Francis waiting and Bahamas Michael Mathieu, and again, the male tracked and overtook the female, this time at the 200m mark.

Bahamas came home in 3:14.42 to take their first ever World Relays gold medal, ahead of USA 3:17.29 and Jamaica 3:20.26.

Jamaica’s team had Javere Bell, Ristananna Tracey, Natoya Goule and Jamari Rose.

Jamaica’s lone silver medal came from the women’s 4×100-metre relay team without Elaine Thompson, who led the 4x200m team to gold on the opening night (22 April).

As she did in the heat two-and-a-half hours earlier, Rebekka Haase fought off the Jamaican anchor – this time Sashalee Forbes, who finished strongly — to secure an upset victory and the gold medal for Germany in 42.84.

Jamaica, the winners in 2015, finished second in 42.95 with China, who clocked 43.11, third, to equal the finish of their men’s quartet.
Jamaica’s quartet also included Simone Facey, Natasha Morrison and Gayon Evans.

USA did not finish, as Tianna Bartoletta, who started things off, slipped and fell to the track before making the first exchange.

Jamaica’s three other bronze medals came in the women’s 4x400m, men’s 4x200m and men’s 4x400m.

In the women’s 4×400-metre relay final, Poland’s Justyna Swiety clawed her way from fourth midway through the final turn, to second and the silver medal, just nipping Jamaican Stephanie Ann McPherson a couple steps from the finish to secure her country’s first World Relays medal in the event.

Poland clocked 3:28.28 to Jamaica’s 3:28.49.

The Jamaican bronze medal quartet also included Janieve Russell, Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby and Verone Chambers.

The USA women confidently collected their third straight 4x400m title, dominating the proceedings from gun to tape to win in a world leading 3:24.36.

In the men’s equivalent, the Jamaican quartet of Peter Matthews, Demish Gaye, Martin Manley and Steven Gayle were no match for the USA and Botswana and finished well behind for the bronze medal.

The Jamaican quartet clocked 3:02.86.

The final leg produced a battle for the ages as LaShawn Merritt of the US fended off the challenge of a brilliant Botswanan quartet, the Americans taking victory in the end by just 0.15 in 3:02.13.

Botswana clocked 3:02.28 for the silver medal.

Since their defeat by Bahamas at the 2012 Olympics, the US have been unstoppable in this event, thanks mainly to the calm, composed and classy anchor-leg ability of Merritt, who has made a habit of dispensing his energy with almost unmatched wisdom in that role.

In the men’s 4×200-metre final, the Jamaican quartet of Nickel Ashmeade, Oshane Bailey, Rasheed Dwyer and Yohan Blake clocked 1:21.09 for the bronze medal.

Aaron Brown anchored the Canadian home for the gold medal in 1:19.42.
The US took second in 1:19.88


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