Breaking the relay jinx

MONACO – United States sprinters are striving this week in Monaco to find ways to end a long 4×100 metres relay jinx, and displace Jamaica’s relay kings, their coach Jon Drummond has said.

“Everyone is looking at times and individual speeds. That’s not what wins relays. The baton exchange is what wins relays,” Drummond noted

So while Jamaica may have the fastest man in the world in Usain Bolt, world champion Yohan Blake and former 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell, Drummond stressed he has a unit that could match the world-record holding islanders.

“Absolutely,” he said, speaking of a pool that includes the world’s second fastest man Tyson Gay, 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin and a mixture of young and experienced sprinters.

Fast guys do not always win, the 2000 Olympic relay gold medallist noted.

“It only takes one interruption to change that dynamic,” Drummond added.

“It is not about just four fast guys running. It is about four fast guys being able to get the stick around. “That has been America’s downfall. For three successive global meetings, the 2008 Olympic Games and the past two world championships, the United States have either dropped the baton or been disqualified.

“So people can think what they want,” Drummond said of a U.S.-Jamaica showdown, “but the race never happened.”

The outcry was so great after the U.S. men’s and women’s 4×100 squads both dropped batons in the 2008 Olympics

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