Gold Coast setback for Jamaica's legacy

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas pipping Shericka Jackson of Jamaica to the gold medal in the 200m at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games yesterday. Miller-Uibo clocked 22.09 seconds, while Jackson was second in 22.18sec with England's Dina Asher-Smi
Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas pipping Shericka Jackson of Jamaica to the gold medal in the 200m at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games yesterday. Miller-Uibo clocked 22.09 seconds, while Jackson was second in 22.18sec with England's Dina Asher-Smith third in 22.29sec.PHOTO: REUTERS

Men and women sprinters fail in gold quest as sprint powerhouses' poor form continues

GOLD COAST (Australia) • Usain Bolt's retirement last year left a yawning chasm in athletics that may never be filled.

And no more is his absence on the track being felt than in Jamaica, with his presence in the stands failing to inspire his country's faltering track athletes at the Commonwealth Games yesterday.

Jamaica suffered another setback in the women's 200m as double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson failed to win a medal, adding to their troubles on the Gold Coast after missing out on both 100m titles.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo romped to victory for the Bahamas in the 200m in a Games record of 22.09sec to further darken Bolt's mood after good friend Yohan Blake's 100m flop on Monday.

Miller-Uibo, the reigning 400m gold medallist, was presented with her gold medal by none other than the eight-time Olympic champion.

"It's a pleasure getting it from a great like him," the 23-year-old told reporters. "Me and Elaine, we compete a lot and she always brings her A-game."

Shericka Jackson did at least take silver for Jamaica with England's Dina Asher-Smith pipping Thompson to the bronze.

Miller-Uibo proved a cut above the field and powered away in the final third to take the title.

"I'm not sure what happened," shrugged Thompson. "There's nobody that doesn't want to chase a double Olympic champion because everybody's fit, everybody's hungry and everybody wants a medal."

There was some consolation for Jamaica, however, as Janieve Russell won the women's 400m hurdles gold in 54.33sec, ahead of Scotland's Eilidh Doyle, who took silver for the third successive Games.

Bolt also watched forlornly as Jamaica finished well outside the medals in a controversial men's 200m final.

England's Zharnel Hughes appeared to have beaten Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago in a photo finish - both were awarded times of 20.12sec - only to be dramatically stripped of the gold after completing his lap of honour.

Replays showed that Hughes caught Richards in the face with his flailing left hand, causing his opponent to stumble.

Richards was awarded the gold with Canadian Aaron Brown second, while Northern Ireland's Leon Reid was elevated to bronze.

"When I started to catch him (Hughes), his hand came across and he hit me," said Richards. "When I got hit, that knocked me back a bit."

England appealed against the disqualification but it was dismissed.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2018, with the headline 'Gold Coast setback for Jamaica's legacy'. Print Edition | Subscribe