Jamaica end Budapest quest with 12 medals
In a valiant display, Jamaica’s women’s 4x400 metres team powered home to bring the curtain down on the 2023 World Athletics Championships, with back-to-back silver medals to propel the island to its second-best medal count in history.
Jamaica finished fourth in the medal table with 12 – three gold, five silver and four bronze. This is their second-best World Championships medal haul, 2009 being their best with 13. The United States topped the medal table with 29 - 12 gold, eight silver, and nine bronze.
The team of Candice McLeod, Janieve Russell, Nickisha Pryce, and Stacey Ann Williams crossed the line in a season’s best time of 3:20.88 minutes, pipped at the finish by the Netherlands and a heroic anchor leg by world 400m hurdles champion Femke Bol, clocking a world-leading 3:20.72.
McLeod gave Jamaica a good start, giving Russell a slight lead, and Pryce, in her first World Championships relay final, gave Jamaica the advantage on the final leg. Williams, who anchored the team in the heats on Saturday, released the after-burners on her run, doing everything she could to, in her words, hold on for dear life. But Bol, who fell before the finish line to deny her team victory in the mixed 4x400m, would close the gap in the final 40m to edge Williams and deny Jamaica a first 4x400m gold since 2015.
Williams, who was suffering from stomach problems just before the race, said she knew she had the toughest task and did everything she could to give Jamaica a chance at victory. But she is proud to have given the team a medal.
“It was a very tough leg because I had the best people on my leg. But right before it was time to come out, I was suffering from a really terrible stomach issue. So I am happy that I could come out here and give the girls a helping hand in support to complete the relay,” Williams said.
The medal was significant for her in many ways as she wasn’t able to compete in the 400m final at the national championships because of an injury and Williams said that she was proud of the team, who acquitted themselves well.
“It means a lot. I am happy I could support the girls. It is a team with a lot of depth, and that is something that you are looking for at the championships. I am just happy I could be a part of that.”
Russell said the performance has made her more excited about 4x400m runs with this set of ladies, who she feels are class performers.
“I am really grateful. I’m happy that I came out and represented my country and supported the girls to a medal. It was a really tight race, and it was a splendid run from each and every single member. And I am grateful to be a member of this spectacular group,”Russell said.
The men narrowly finished outside the medals, placing fourth in 2:59.34. There were two changes to the quartet who ran in the first round on Saturday, with 400m hurdles finalist Roshawn Clarke and world 400m champion Antonio Watson coming in for the injured Sean Bailey and D’Andre Anderson. Clarke said the problem he had with his leg did not affect him but said that the team would rise from this.
“The team fell short today, but we will get (better). I wanted another medal, and I wanted the guys to have the feeling of going on the podium. But sadly, that didn’t happen,” Watson said.
In her first World Championships final, Adelle Tracey finished seventh in the women’s 800m final with a time of 1:58.41 minutes, lowering her personal best for the second consecutive time at the championships.
National high jump champion Lamara Distin finished fifth in her second World Championships final with her best height being 1.94m, improving from her ninth place finish in her first final last year in Eugene.
JAMAICA’S MEDAL HAUL
Recipient Event Medal
Shericka Jackson 200m (W) Gold
Antonio Watson 400m (M) Gold
Danielle Williams 100mH (W) Gold
Shericka Jackson 100m (W) Silver
Hansle Parchment 110mH (M) Silver
Wayne Pinnock Long Jump (M) Silver
Jamaica 4x100m (W) Silver
Jamaica 4x400m (W) Silver
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 100m (W) Bronze
Rushell Clayton 400mH (W) Bronze
Tajay Gayle Long Jump (M) Bronze
Jamaica 4x100m (M) Bronze