Saturday, May 31, 2008

Can Great Britain Win the 4 x 100 Relay in Beijing?

Jimson Lee at wrote an great article asking can the UK 4x100 relay team repeat with Olympic gold from the '04 Games in 08/08/08? Heck no! Maybe the Brits' 4x100 meter relay should take Michael Johnson’s advice and trip their competitors. That looks to be the UK’s best chances to win gold.

This summer is a big one for the UK 4x100-meter relay talent pool, and some of its biggest guns will be locked in a drawer. It looks more like the nation’s top sprinter, Dwain Chambers will be not be allowed to run in Beijing. Darren Campbell has hung up his spikes for retirement, and Mark Lewis-Francis is out this summer with an achilles injury.

Jamaica will make some kind of run. The Jamaican national team has two legit stars plus, a bunch of guys with international experience. After what we saw at the Penn Relays in April, the Jamaicans can be that much better in Beijing, right? Marvin Anderson, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Dwight Thomas ran 39.04 seconds without world record holder Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt, who as of this publication is the second fastest man ever at 100-meters.

Who knows which Americans out of the talent pool will make the team for Beijing. We’re not going to jump the gun and say that Tyson Gay is a lock for the team. So far Darvis Patton, Wallace Spearman, Xavier Carter, Mike Rodgers, Leroy Dixon, John Capel, and Shawn Crawford are in the mix. As long as Team USA doesn’t drop the stick, the relay team is almost guaranteed to run well below 38 seconds.

The Nigerians dropped the stick at the world championships in Osaka last year. If the ’08 relay squad led by Olusoj Fasuba, the fastest guy on the continent, holds on to the stick in Beijing, the Nigerians may surprise some in the Olympic finals.

The 4x100-meter relay results are so difficult to predict because there are so many moving parts, no pun intended. Many of the national teams do not necessarily run or practice together that much before the Olympics because track is an individual sport. No one wants to be remembered for medaling on the relay. But, this Olympics is shaping up to be an epic battle on the track in Beijing. We will have to tune in to see how it all plays out.

By Jay Hicks.

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