Usain Bolt, Jamaica Place 1st in Commonwealth Games Men's 4X100 Relay Round 1

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Usain Bolt, Jamaica Place 1st in Commonwealth Games Men's 4X100 Relay Round 1
Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Things didn't look good for Jamaica early in the first round of the 2014 Commonwealth Games 4x100 metres relay, but Usain Bolt powered the team to a routine win to secure their spot in Saturday's final.

A bad start from the Jamaican team had everyone inside Hampden Park holding their breath, but the pure class of the fastest nation on Earth shone through in the end, the quartet easily beating Nigeria and Australia in a time of 38.99.

Bolt was given the spot of anchor on Jamaica's team consisting of Kimmari Roach, Julian Forte and Nickel Ashmeade, meaning he would be tasked with taking the squad home as the final sprinter.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

While all of the athletes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games are deserving of the highest praise, it's clear Bolt is the biggest name competing in Glasgow by a clear mile. All the fans want to see him, and the Jamaican superstar brings an element of glamour to this year's Games.

The BBC's Ben Smith confirmed he would be running earlier in the day, to the delight of fans:

The second-lane draw wasn't very kind to Jamaica, and the team took a disastrous start through Roach, who seemed to lose ground on the Australians during the opening leg. Forte failed to make up much ground, but Ashmeade closed down the rest of the sprinters in the final turn, before handing the baton to Bolt.

The next 100 metres went pretty much as anyone would have expected. The fastest man on Earth ran away from the rest of competitors with relative ease and didn't even bother to keep the pace until the end.

The final time of 38.99 was far from the fastest the Jamaican team can run, but in the end, they easily defeated the Nigerian and Australian teams.

The crowd (and event organisers) no doubt held their breath as Roach struggled to get things going, but Ashmeade's excellent run meant Bolt wouldn't have to bring the team back from too far. BBC Sport Scotland were not surprised by the final result:

A born entertainer, Bolt knew he had to please the crowd during his interview after the race:

BBC's Gabby Logan told the cameras these Games "had been just fine without Bolt" before the heat, and naturally, the Jamaican star didn't let it slide. The Daily Mail's Tom Burrows loved it:

Athlete Jazmin Sawyers was shocked at how easy it was for Bolt to close the deal for Jamaica:

BBC Sport later confirmed Roach injured himself during his leg, and social media instantly went from calling him out over the team's average performance to hailing him for completing his run:

The Jamaicans may have easily qualified for the final of the 4x100 metres on Saturday, but their performance was far from flawless. The top three teams in the first heat all ran faster than the Jamaican team on Friday, and England looked in great form in the final heat as well.

Jamaica will always be favourites in any sprinting event, and as long as they have Bolt to anchor, fans would be foolish to back any other team. But the team can't afford another bad start like the one they suffered on Friday, or the deficit might be too big for even the World Record-holder to overcome.

 

Load More Stories

Follow B/R on Facebook

Out of Bounds