BEIJING, China — A stunning victory in the women’s mile-relay gave Jamaica a record seventh gold medal and secured second spot in the medals table ahead of the USA and behind Kenya as the 15th IAAF World Championships concluded here yesterday.
Jamaica with seven gold, two silver and three bronze finished the championship with 12 medals and was just one short of their record tally of 13 achieved in Berlin, 2009.
Kenya, also with seven gold, finished top courtesy of a larger medal haul of 16, while the USA finished third with six gold, six silver and six bronze for a total of 18 medals.
Jamaica’s medal haul is an improvement from two years ago in Moscow, Russia, and team manager, Ludlow Watt, was more than pleased with the performance.
“The team performed extremely well and that is good for the mood of the country and the development of track and field,” said Watt, moments after guiding his winning girls through the press conference.
Once again the incomparable Usain Bolt was at the forefront propelling Jamaica forward with another triple gold performance. He defended his 100m, 200m and 4x100m crowns.
He edged fierce rival Justin Gatlin in the 100m winning in 9.79 seconds to Gatlin’s 9.80s in arguably his best and most satisfying race. Then he returned and won his pet event by a much wider margin, stopping the clock at 19.55 seconds easing down. Bolt then completed his three timer anchoring Jamaica’s 4x100m team in a time of 37.36 seconds.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce grabbed two gold in the 100m and 4x100m relay, while Danielle Williams snatched the 100m hurdles gold and the women’s 4x400m relay capped a great championship for Jamaica.
“If you look at the comments by the 100m hurdler when she said her aim was just to get into the final, and that could perhaps be one that is summed up as least expected. But they all did well and we expected everyone to do well,” said Watts.
“There will be disappointment in every championship, but I will not take it as any major serious matter because in every championship in every event there is a success story and always people who fall below. But overall the balance has been good,” he noted.
Debutant Elaine Thompson sizzled to a 21.66 seconds clocking in the 200m and reaped a silver, while Hansle Parchment copped silver in the 110m hurdles with 13.03 seconds.
Veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown turned back the clock and won a bronze in the 200m with a seasonal best 21.97, while Shericka Jackson showed that she has arrived with a scintillating 49.99, personal best, for third in the women’s 400m.
Shot putter O’Dayne Richards won Jamaica’s first shot put medal, equalling his national record of 21.69m for bronze.
With all this in mind, Watts reinforced the importance of the training camp saying it built team camaraderie and spirit.
“Anybody who did not agree with it is exhibiting poor judgement and not befitting somebody who is worthy of improving Jamaica’s track and field,” said Watt.
“The camp was extremely successful from the point of view of the athletes and, the coaches. Training preparation, camaraderie and this has manifested in the success of the team,” he noted.