Best and worst from myriad sports over the week …
World Relays. So simple, so wonderful. National teams in 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800 and 4×1,500, all in the track-crazed Bahamas.
Alan Abrahamson was on the scene:
Unlike, for instance, the first few days of last year’s world championships in Moscow, where Luzhniki Stadium was way too empty, here Robinson was alive and jamming. It was 79 years to the day that Jesse Owens had done his thing, tying or setting four world records in the space of 45 minutes at the Big Ten championships, and all of a sudden Sunday track and field was vital again.
They went crazy here, cheering loud and long for the consolation final in the men’s 400, won by the Belgians. The consolation final!
Daily Relay’s Jesse Squire can’t wait until next year.
The inaugural IAAF World Relays was a sellout on both of its days and the stadium was buzzing with energy. The interest among international fans was keen. Virtually every single athlete seemed to love it. The meet is coming back to Nassau next year and it might become an even bigger deal. No doubt about it, this was the best innovation by the IAAF in three decades. I am seriously considering making a trip to the Bahamas for this meet next year.
Maybe the U.S. men’s sprinters will learn to pass the baton by then.
Other than the two botched handoffs, the meet went pretty well for the Americans. The men’s distance runners were second (4×1,500) and third (4×800). The women won four of the five races and took second in the 4×1,500. And the men and women swept the marquee event — the 4×400.
Ollie Williams is back with the daily links in Olympic sports. Highlights today: A surprise loss for Indian boxing legend Mary Kom that will keep her out of the Commonwealth Games, British dominance in sprint canoe/kayak, and a wrap of gymnastics’ European Championships.
BEST TRIP TO CHINA
In two races in China, Gatlin ran the two fastest times of the year.
Japan beat perennial champion China at the Thomas Cup (men’s badminton), then took care of Malaysia (featuring world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei) in the final.
Columbus’ Federico Higuain sends a through ball that only has eyes for Ethan Finlay.
Waking up on Saturday mornings without NBCSN’s EPL programming. Can the same crew do a cricket show or something?