With the Tokyo Olympics delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s not much for athletics fans to do but look back at what was.
On this day a year ago, Jamaica’s female sprint relay team claimed its fifth World Championships title, adding to the nation’s enviable track record in the event and at the competition.
The win wasn’t without its challenges though as the Elaine Thompson, the nation’s reigning Olympic sprint double champion, had withdrawn from the championships due to injury.
Even with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who had won her fourth World title just days sooner, on the team, it still takes four people to run a relay. Thompson’s absence provided the opportunity for quarter-miler Shericka Jackson to step up to the plate and possibly add to the bronze medal she had already claimed.
The team of Natalliah Whyte, Fraser-Pryce, Jonielle Smith and Jackson on anchor, proved unstoppable, claiming the event in 41.44 seconds, ahead of Great Britain and the United States.
Following the race, Fraser-Pryce summed up the journey aptly when she said, “This success did not come without hardship and pain and sacrifices. There are so many things that have happened on this journey.”
The win added to Jamaica’s superlative record in the event, having previously won in 1991, 2009, 2013 and 2015.