Slow start dooms Canadian men in 4x100m at World Relays

A slow start and a sloppy exchange returned to haunt the Canadian men at the IAAF World Relays on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan.

The 4×100-metre team featuring Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Gavin Smellie and Brendon Rodney placed third in its heat and failed to qualify for Sunday’s final with a time of 38.76 seconds.

Smellie ran the first leg and was quickly passed by the Japanese counterpart to his left before a slow baton pass to Brown.

De Grasse, anchoring the team, blazed through the final leg but couldn’t make up enough ground. The result means Canada won’t have the chance to defend its 2017 gold medal.

The top two teams from each heat as well as the next two fastest teams advance to the final. There was 10 teams faster than Canada on Saturday.

The first Canadian team moving on was the women’s 4×400 squad, featuring Sage Watson, Maya Stephens, Madeline Price and Travia Jones.

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The foursome roared to victory in its heat in three minutes, 28.75 seconds. Ukraine had originally won the heat, but was later disqualified.

Canada also appeared in the women’s 4×100 race, but was disqualified for a late baton exchange.

However, in the final race of the day, Canada’s mixed 4×400 racers powered to the top of their heat with a time of 3:16.78.

The clean, well-executed run will give Canada the opportunity to race for gold on Sunday. The time also represented a new national record, surpassing the previous best of 3:23.60.

Catch all of Sunday’s finals live on, with action beginning at 5 a.m. ET.

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CBC | Sports News