My Pick For Rio: Men’s 4x100m Relay

Time and Date of Men’s 4x100m Final: 22:35 BRT (19 AUG) / 03:35 CEST (20 AUG) 

Defending Olympic Champions from London 2012: JAMAICA

For almost a decade now the short relay has been a duel between the USA and Jamaica. This year is no different and it should be a great race if both teams manage to get the baton around safely. Below is a list of teams that are in my opinion most likely to be in the final and win a medal, and also a list of athletes that I think will compete if their team makes it to the final (the finalists don’t have to be the same as the ones that compete in the semi-finals).

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. Silver medalists in the last two editions of the Olympics and they’ll again have a good team in Rio. Thompson is their main man with some serious speed to run down people on the anchor leg. I’m not expecting a medal, but I do expect them to feature strongly in the final.

  1. Emmanuel Callender,
  2. Keston Bledman,
  3. Rondel Sorrillo,
  4. Richard Thompson.

My predicted potential based on the season best time of each athlete: 38.30

GERMANY. They’re always a great team that manages to be more than the sum of its parts. Germany is regularly in the final and I believe they’ll be very strong in Rio. Reus is their fastest 100m man.

  1. Julian Reus,
  2. Sven Knipphals,
  3. Alexander Kosenkow,
  4. Lucas Jakubczyk.

Predicted potential: 38.25

GREAT BRITAIN. The Brits usually have great sprinters, but they’ve had a lot of misfortune with passing the baton ever since they’ve surprisingly won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Their current generation is not quite so strong and I was a bit disappointed when I didn’t see Adam Gemili on the official list of athletes that are set to compete in the relay. I don’t know why that is, so here’s a possible team without him.

  1. Richard Kilty,
  2. James Ellington,
  3. James Dasaolu,
  4. Chijindu Ujah.

Predicted potential: 38.20

CHINA. The surprise silver medalists at their home World Championships in Beijing (they came in third behind USA, but the latter were disqualified for passing the baton outside of the changeover zone). They will have a strong team in Rio and with a bit of luck they can again be in contention for a medal. Their ace is the national record holder (9.99 s) Bingtian Su.

  1. Youxue Mo,
  2. Bingtian Su,
  3. Xingqiang Tang,
  4. Zhenye Xie.

Predicted potential: 38.10

FRANCE. They picked up bronze last year at the World Championships and they’ll have a strong team in Rio. Vicaut is their outstanding sprinter at the moment and Lemaitre is still a fast bend runner. They could be around the top 5.

  1. Michael-Meba Zeze,
  2. Stuart Dutamby,
  3. Christophe Lemaitre,
  4. Jimmy Vicaut.

Predicted potential: 38.05

CANADA. In the golden era of Canadian sprinting, Donovan Bailey anchored their team to victory at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Canada might finally have a team of promising young sprinters that could emulate that sort of an achievement and a medal in Rio is a distinct possibility. This is what their team might look like:

  1. Mobolade Ajomale,
  2. Akeem Haynes,
  3. Andre De Grasse,
  4. Aaron Brown.

Predicted potential: 38.00

USA. The Americans are the only ones that can challenge Jamaicans if everything goes smoothly. I’ve put Gay in my predicted line-up, but I personally wouldn’t pick him as one of my runners. He has valuable experience, but there have been some problems with him passing the baton when he was running on the third leg. And he’s certainly not a good choice for the anchor leg anymore either, so I just don’t see a good spot for him on the team. I’d personally replace him with Marvin Bracy or Ameer Webb.

  1. Mike Rodgers,
  2. Trayvon Bromell,
  3. Tyson Gay,
  4. Justin Gatlin.

Predicted potential: 37.38

JAMAICA. With Bolt at the helm, Jamaicans have been utterly dominant by winning the last 4 World Championships and the last 2 Olympics, improving the world record three times in the process. The interesting thing is that we might finally see Powell, Blake and Bolt – the three fastest Jamaicans ever – on the same team, but it’s unfortunate that none of them seem to be in the form of their lives. They should still be great as a team though and last year at the World Relays in Bahamas Bolt ran his anchor leg in 8.65 s – the fastest 100m split in history. I hope their team looks like this:

  1. Nickel Ashmeade,
  2. Asafa Powell,
  3. Yohan Blake,
  4. Usain Bolt.

Predicted potential: 37.20


I reckon that winning a medal will require a time of around 38.00 s. The US and Jamaican teams can go under 37.20 s if everything goes right, so they’re the outstanding favourites for gold. It’s a tough race to call, but I’m going to pick JAMAICA.

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