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No Relay Medal Chance For Bahamas After Men's 4 X 400m Team Is Disqualified

The men's 4 x 400m team of Steven Gardiner, Michael Mathieu, Alonzo Russell and Ramon Miller. @GETTY IMAGES

The men's 4 x 400m team of Steven Gardiner, Michael Mathieu, Alonzo Russell and Ramon Miller. @GETTY IMAGES

From BRENT STUBBS

Senior Sports Reporter

in Beijing, China

bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

THE BAHAMAS will have no teams in the finals of the relays at the 15th IAAF World Championships after the disqualification of the men's 4 x 400m squad, the only consolations being the women's 4 x 400m quartet posting a national record and and the men's 4 x 100m producing a season's best time.

The major disappointment came from the men's 4 x 400m team of Steven Gardiner, Michael Mathieu, Alonzo Russell and Ramon Miller, who were disqualified after finishing second in their preliminary rounds on Saturday at the Bird's Nest.

According to the official results, a lane infringement on the second leg by Mathieu resulted in Team Bahamas being cited with the IAAF's rule 162.3a, which states "In all races run in lanes, each athlete shall keep within his allocated lane from start to finish. This shall apply to any portion of a race run in lanes."

According to the camera review, the infringement occurred at least four times as Mathieu made it from the first exchange zone to the line at which the stagger unwinds on the back stretch.

The four runners did not want to talk about the disqualification because at the time, they had not known exactly what transpired.

The team had finished their heat behind Great Britain and appeared to be in a good position to redeem their absence from the last championship final in Moscow, Russia, when the team of Chris 'Fireman' Brown, Wesley Neymour, LaToy Williams and Ojay Ferguson finished 13th overall in the heats.

Both Brown and Williams were waiting for a chance to run in the final on Sunday. Instead, Williams never got to compete at all after he gave up his spot for Brown to run in the individual men's 400m with Gardiner and Mathieu. All three failed to make it out of the semifinal.

As for the women's 4 x 400m team, Shaunae Miller, still recovering from her blistering personal best of 49.67 seconds for the silver in the individual 400m final on Thursday, anchored the quartet of Lanece Clarke, Christine Amertil and Katrina Seymour to sixth place in their heat. Their time of 3 minutes 28.60 seconds was a new national record, shattering the old mark of 3:29.53.

At the last championships in Russia, the team of Amara Jones, Clarke, Shekietha Henfield and Cotrell Martin finished fourth in their heat for 13th overall in 3:32.19.

And in the men's 4 x 100m, Warren Fraser, Shavez Hart, Elroy McBride and Teray Smith ran a season's best of 38.96 seconds for sixth in their heat and 12th overall. The previous season's best was 39.32.

Team Bahamas will close out the championships on Sunday when Donald Thomas, the 2007 world champion, and Trevor Barry, the 2015 Pan Am Games silver medalist, will clash in the final of the men's high jump.

The final starts at 6.30am EST on Sunday.

So far, the Bahamas have two medals. The first came from Jeffery Gibson with a bronze in the men's 400m hurdles in a new national record of 48.17 seconds, while Miller picked up the silver.

In addition, the other athlete to advance to a final in the championship was Leevan 'Superman' Sands, who returned to the Bird's Nest where he won his first Olympic medal with a bronze in the triple jump in 2008.

Sands, coming off a near career-ending injury at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, is on the comeback trail after undergoing surgery to replace his right knee.

For those athletes who will not go on to compete on the European circuit, the next global event will be the IAAF World Indoor Championships next year in Portland, Oregon, from March 17-20.

For full reports from the final two days of competition, see Monday's edition of The Tribune.

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