Jamaicans double up in relays as U.S. men drop baton

Sun May 3, 2015 11:49pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Jamaica won the showcase 4x200 meters relay without Usain Bolt as their American rivals dropped the baton at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas on Sunday.

Nickel Ashmeade, Rasheed Dwyer, Jason Livermore and Warren Weir survived a shaky second exchange baton pass to claim the feature race in one minute, 20.97 seconds.

But at least the Jamaicans, in winning their first race of the two-day meeting, got the baton around.

The Americans were not so fortunate. A muffed passed between Isiah Young and Curtis Mitchell on the second exchange sent the baton flying, leading to their disqualification.

Bolt did not run as a precaution, his manager said, after the world's fastest man felt tightness in his hamstring warming up.

Second place went to France and Germany claimed third.

Justin Gatlin, not realizing the U.S. had dropped the baton, still ran a blazing anchor leg to bring the Americans from seventh to third before their disqualification was announced.

The U.S., with Gatlin running a strong second leg, had beaten a Bolt-anchored team in the men's 4x100 on Saturday.

The two rivals are not expected to meet in a sprint showdown before August's world championships in Beijing.   Continued...